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Art Heist Suspect's Mom Says She Didn't Burn Masterpieces After All

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A investigator searches the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum break-in during the night on October 16, 2012. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang, police said Ocotber 16, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

BUCHAREST, Romania -- The mother of a man charged with stealing works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse has apparently backtracked on a confession that she burned the paintings in order to protect her son.

Olga Dogaru told a Bucharest court Monday that she did not burn the paintings in her stove, contradicting earlier statements, news agencies reported. The court was ruling on whether to keep her under arrest. Her lawyer, Catalin Dancu, said in televised statements that he did not believe that the paintings – stolen in a daring heist in the Netherlands – were burned. He could not be reached for comment.

Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, director of Romania's National History Museum told The Associated Press that he did not believe Dogaru's latest reported comments, saying museum scientists found "a large amount of paint, canvas and nails" in ash from Dogaru's stove.

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