Over $2 Million Worth of Art Stolen from South African Museum

More than two million dollars worth of paintings were stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum in South Africa, reports the Associated Press in an article published in the Washington Post. This past Sunday, a group of thieves posed as “eager art students with their teacher,” asking a curator to show them specific paintings before pulling out guns and forcing others to the ground. All were tied up as the robbers collected a group of paintings by Irma Stern, Hugo Naude, and J. H. Pierneef, among others. City spokesman Pieter de Necker states that he and others believe the thieves were commissioned to go after these pieces; he adds that video surveillance cameras at the museum had stopped working three days before the theft. Said de Necker: “We’re very, very surprised. [Art theft] is very uncommon. We have realized also that over the last few years the overseas market has grown into wanting South African art.”