Rotterdam Museum Decries Accusations of Absurdly Lax Security

The director of the Kunsthal museum gives a press conference about the thefts. (Getty Images)

The Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, today pooh-poohed the idea that flaws in their security could have led to the recent theft of seven paintings from the museum, including ones by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Lucian Freud and Claude Monet.

The museum has been accused of leaving the back door open, and allowing thieves to stay after closing hours, a possibility that police are still investigating. The New York Times has the story:

The gallery, which has no permanent collection of its own, has come under withering scrutiny. The Algemeen Dagblad, a local newspaper, reported this week that a visitor complained that three months ago he and another person were trapped there at closing time and left through the same emergency exit, raising the possibility that someone could have opened the door to the thieves after hours.

The recriminations are part of a standard ritual in high-profile art thefts where museums confront questions about security and then face years of trying to track down valuable paintings. In the second stage, the cast generally includes police investigators, insurance adjusters and lawyers who often emerge offering information from what one museum official characterized as the murky “other side.”

Read more here.

Rotterdam Museum Decries Accusations of Absurdly Lax Security