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Romanians admit stealing art works in Netherlands

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October 22, 2013 09:58 AM EST | AP


BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Three Romanians have pleaded guilty to stealing seven paintings, including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse, from a Dutch museum in a daring nighttime raid that shocked the art world.

The suspects, Radu Dogaru, Alexandru Bitu and Eugen Darie, told a Bucharest court on Tuesday that they took the multimillion-dollar paintings from Kunsthal Museum in October 2012.

The works have never been found.

In their depositions to prosecutors, the suspects said they brought the paintings to Romania, tried to sell them on the black market, then left them with Olga Dogaru, the chief suspect's mother.

She told investigators she burned the paintings, and a Romanian museum said that ash found in a stove at her home contained paint, canvas and nails. But she later denied that her story was true.