The thieves took the following works:
|Pablo Picasso's Harlequin Head|
|Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge, London|
|Claude Monet's Charing Cross Bridge, London|
|Henri Matisse's Reading Girl in White and Yellow|
|Paul Gauguin's Girl in Front of Open Window|
|Meyer de Haan's Self-Portrait|
|Lucian Freud's Woman with Eyes Closed|
By way of background, three Romanians were arrested in January 2013 on suspicion of having stolen the paintings, however these were not found. Subsequently, Olga Dogaru, the mother of one of those charged with stealing the paintings, claimed that she had buried the paintings in an abandoned house, but later dug up the art and burned them after police began searching the village for the stolen works.
The Associated Press now reports that forensic experts have determined that ash from Dogaru's oven contained "'small fragments of painting primer, the remains of canvas, the remains of paint' and copper and steel nails, some of which pre-dated the 20th century." But that "Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, director of Romania's National History Museum...refused to say definitively that the ashes were from the stolen paintings. He said justice officials would make that decision. He did venture, however, that if the remains were those of the paintings, it was 'a crime against humanity to destroy universal art'."
The Associated Press explains that the next step will be to compare the ashes to what was known about the missing paintings to determine if the remnants are consistent with the stolen works. Let's hope by some miracle that they are not.
Source: Associated Press, 17 July 2013