Picasso Notebook Swiped From Paris Museum
A sketchbook full of crayon drawings by Pablo Picasso has been stolen from the Picasso National Museum in Paris. The notebook contains 32 drawings and is estimated to be worth between $8.4 million and $14 million. The drawings are dated 1917 to 1924. The sketchbook was stolen from the first-floor exhibition room and noticed to be missing just before lunchtime on Tuesday. The independent says that there were no signs of a break-in and the alarm system did not go off.
The 6 inch by 9 inch pad was kept in a high security glass cabinet which could only be opened with a special key but there is some question of whether or not the lock was broken. There were no security TV cameras. A special exhibit of the works of Daniel Buren which is being shown in the museum includes a giant mirror that may have blocked the view of the staff.
The museum is located in the Hotel Sale townhouse which has been under renovation for the last couple of years. Many of the museum's major Picasso works are currently away on loan to raise money for the renovations which is why exhibits by other artists are being shown in the museum. Paris police have said it looks to be a well-organized theft and that the works would be hard to sell on the open market. One thing that concerns me is the possibility that the sketches could be broken up and sold individually on the black market.