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Rubens portrait among fifteen stolen paintings from Castelvecchio in Verona

Information from various newspapers

Three armed men broke into Verona’s Castelvecchio Museum thursday night and stole fifteen paintings worth an estimated ten to fifteen million euros, museum officials announced today.

Among the stolen works are a portrait by Rubens titled La dama delle licnidi and five paintings by Tintoretto. Other works that have been taken include Andrea Mantegna’s Holy Family with a Saint and Pisanello’s Madonna of the Quail.

"Someone sent them, they were skilled, they knew exactly where they were going," mayor Flavio Tosi said, adding that 11 of the paintings stolen had been masterpieces while others were more minor works.

Roberto Bolis from the council’s press office said the museum had 24-hour security but the robbery had been planned so that the thieves arrived after the building emptied but before the alarms had been activated.

"We don’t yet know if they were armed, or whether they took the security officer’s weapon," he said, adding that both the guard and cashier were in shock and were being debriefed by investigators. "They tied up the security officer as well and took his keys so they could get away in his car," he said.

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