Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hermitage Theft (UPDATED)

More than 200 objects, with an estimated value of $5 million, have been stolen from the Hermitage art museum in Russia. The thefts are thought to have taken place over a 30 year period. The museum says it looks like an inside job (the curator in charge of most of the missing items dropped dead at the museum while the inventory was being checked). The BBC News report is here.

UPDATE: The New York Times has more here. The Guardian reports that it still looks like an inside job, but "there remains a possibility the items ... had gone missing internally as a result of the museum's chaotic catologuing." The missing objects were not insured; apparently the Hermitage only insures exhibited artworks.