The six Romanians, who have now been charged with stealing seven works of art by Lucian Freud, Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin and Monet, from a Dutch museum, will plead guilty, in order to get a reduced sentence, their lawyers announced in a statement. Maria Vasii told the press that they would enter a guilty pleas at their next court appearance scheduled for 22 Oct. The defendants are hoping that their sentences will be reduced by up to a third. However they could still face a maximum 20 years for the heist.
It is thought that the six stolen paintings were burned by one of the defendant’s mothers in a bid to destroy evidence. The works of art have not been recovered and forensic experts from the Bucharest Museum who examined ash from the stove of Olga Dogaru, the mother of the chief suspect, Radu Dogaru have found oil paint residue and copper tacks consistent with paintings of the period. Authorities stated that she initially admitted to burning the paintings to protect her son, she later denied the action.
Lloyds of London have now settled the case with the owners, the Triton Foundation, and have paid out 18 million euros ($23.8 million) in compensation. The theft was the biggest art theft in the Netherlands for more than ten years. The stolen works of art included, “Woman with Eyes Closed” by Lucian Freud. “Tete d’Arlequin” by Pablo Picasso, “La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune” by Henri Matisse,”Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, dite la fiancee” by Paul Gauguin, “Autoportrait” by Meyer de Haan, and “Waterloo Bridge” and “Charing Cross Bridge” by Claude Monet.