Archive | The Historic Theft of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1972

Archives | The historic theft of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in  1972

The historic theft from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1972 occurred on the night of September 3-4, 1972.

On the night of September 3-4, 1972, three thieves break into the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts through a skylight. The burglars, armed with machine guns and rifles, steal 18 old master paintings worth $2 million. The works will never be found.

On the show News 24of September 4, 1972, the reader Roger Bouchard announces the news. In an interview, the director of public relations of the Museum, Bill Bantey, affirms that 18 paintings and 39 precious objects were stolen.

Among these is Rembrandt's oil painting titled Landscape with Thatched Cottages,which represents a major loss to the institution.

Reader Roger Bouchard announces the theft of paintings and precious objects from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Interview with Bill Bantey, Director of Public Relations for the Museum.

As soon as they enter the museum, the hoodlums notice the presence of a security guard who is finishing his rounds on the second floor. They don't take long to master it. As he does not comply quickly enough for the taste of the brigands, they fire a shot at the ceiling.

The guard is subsequently gagged and tied up. While one of the thieves is watching, the other two pull art objects through the roof using a rope.

The alarm system goes off, as the evildoers attempt to retrieve larger works through the rear exit. They must then drop another 18 arrays of value before fleeing. Thieves leave no trace behind.

In addition to the Rembrandt, the cagoulards leave with works by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Jean-Baptiste Corot, Gustave Courbet and Pierre-Paul Rubens, among others.

Report by journalist Normand Lester, 20 years after the theft of paintings and precious objects from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The newscast is hosted by Bernard Derome.

A few months after the crime, the thieves place a painting by Brueghel the Elder in a locker at Central Station. Experts will then prove that this canvas was not an authentic work by the Flemish painter.

20 years later, on Téléjournal of September 1, 1992 hosted Bernard Derome, journalist Normand Lester reveals the intentions of insurance companies to relaunch the investigation to find the stolen paintings. To achieve this, they promise a reward of $100,000 and more.

Despite all searches, the paintings could never be recovered. The accomplices probably waited a while before selling them on the black market.

According to Alain Lacoursière, art consultant and former detective sergeant, they possibly decorate the house of a wealthy kingpin.

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