Thieves broke into the office of a private art gallery and took seven paintings by Pablo Picasso, including two early works stolen from the same gallery three years ago.
Gallery owner Max K. Bollag said the paintings were uninsured. He estimated their value at $44 million, although one Picasso expert said that was too high.
The paintings were stolen over the weekend by thieves who got in through the cellar of a neighboring house, police said Monday. In addition to the seven Picassos, the thieves also took an oil painting by American artist Julius Pascin.
Bollag said the paintings were in his private office, where he had shown them to visitors a few days ago. He noticed they were missing when he opened the gallery Monday morning.
"It's terrible to find that such beautiful creations, with which I lived for so long and with which I had such a personal relationship, vanished overnight," Bollag said.
Police spokesman Karl Steiner said there were no clues to the identity of the thieves or the fate of the paintings. …