Lovia's three art museums, the Lovian Museum for Modern Art, the Museum of Art and the Royal Art Gallery are famous worldwide for having fine and valuable paintings. This caught the interest of some Russian (or Bulgarian) art collectors. They were interested in acquiring some paintings from those museums. The person (or persons) sent representatives to try and acquire some works, but, the museums would not sell them, s they were for all Lovians to enjoy. The collector became furious and hired some men to steal the works.
The art collectors wanted to get back at the museums and strike at the core. It was originally planned to take the top painting of each museum. From the MOA, it would be The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West, from the LMMA, they planned to take The Rouen cathedral by Monet and from the Royal Art Gallery it would be The Fighting Téméraire by J.M.W. Turner. Additionally, other minor works would be taken as well.
October 12, 2003: That was the date when the museums would be hit. The hired men split into three groups, each one taking a different museum.
Museum of Art Edit
The thieves entered the museum around 22:00. They were able to deactivate the alarm system and got into the museum. They struck the John William Waterhouse Hall, taking the prized painting The Lady of Shalott. They went upstairs to the Quebec Room to take The Death of General Wolfe, but found it to be sealed off. They were already in the Salon Rene Magritte, so they decided to steal the Magrittes. They took the Discovery of Fire and Presence of Mind, but when they were taking La Trahison des Images, they triggered the alarm system and had to flee out the nearest window, as the museum rooms were being sealed in. They had a van where they put the paintings and fled.
Lovian Museum of Modern Art Edit
Around 23:10, the second group was in Kinley and they broke into the LMMA. The alarms here were much more complex, so they just removed the power to the whole building. They entered through the door and made it into the Monet Hall, where they stole The Rouen cathedral by Monet, The Old Harbor and The coast of Lovia. While they were taking The coast of Lovia, the power had been returned and the alarms began to sound. The thieves were able to get out and into their two vans, but they were pursued by the police. One of the cars crashed and the police were able to recover The Old Harbor and The coast of Lovia. But, the other car got away, with the Monet.
Royal Art Gallery Edit
At 22:30, the third group of thieves struck the Royal Art Gallery. They were able to deactivate the alarms and easily got in. The thieves managed to take both The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak and The Fighting Téméraire. By then, police had heard of the theft at the MOA, and quickly came to King's Gardens to check up on it. The thieves, upon hearing the police sirens, ditched the Fighting Téméraire in the museum and made off with just The Rocky Mountains.
The following day, it was determined that six paintings were still missing; Monet's cathedral, Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott, The Rocky Mountains and the three Magritte's. The First National Bank's appraisal department was called in and determined the value of the works to be around $120-160 million. The thieves captured from the second group were arrested, but did not know where the paintings were located. But, they led them to 3 of the 4 members of the third group, who were arrested. They did not know where their paintings were, as their fourth member made off with them. Those from the first group were not captured immediately. One of them was arrested trying to leave the country, and two others were later caught. But, two were still at large; one of them was arrested in France and the other one is still free.
Since then, all six paintings have been recovered. On November 10, 2003, a Russian man was arrested in Paris, France trying to sell off a Magritte (Discovery of Fire) for €3,000,000. In late 2004, the Noble City Police, while conducting a drug search at the New York Building, found both the Rouen cathedral and Presence of Mind hidden under a bed. The Lady of Shalott was found in 2006, in the possession of a notable Hurbanovan art dealer, who was arrested. But, La Trahison des Images had still eluded authorities. In 2008, the Museum of Art was landscaping and had dug up the gardens. There, they discovered a box which contained The Rocky Mountains and La Trahison des Images. It had been hidden there by one of the members of the thieves, Alek Grozny, who was still at large. The museums are offering a $100,000 prize to whoever brings him to justice.
Stolen works Edit
|The Rouen cathedral (1892-94)||Claude Monet||Lovian Museum for Modern Art||November 5, 2004|
|The Old Harbor (1875)||Armand Guillaumin||Lovian Museum for Modern Art||October 13, 2003|
|The coast of Lovia (1859)||Arthur Boudin||Lovian Museum for Modern Art||October 13, 2003|
|La trahison des images (1928-29)||Rene Magritte||Museum of Art||March 7, 2008|
|Discovery of Fire (1935)||Rene Magritte||Museum of Art||November 10, 2003|
|Presence of Mind (1960)||Rene Magritte||Museum of Art||November 5, 2004|
|The Lady of Shalott (1888)||J.W. Waterhouse||Museum of Art||
June 2, 2006
|The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak||Albert Bierstadt||Royal Art Gallery||March 7, 2008|