Thieves in South Africa steal $2.45 million worth of art
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Thieves posing as eager art students with their teacher stole more than US$2 million (S$2.45 million) worth of paintings from a museum in South Africa's capital in a daring armed robbery, authorities said on Monday.
The theft on Sunday at the Pretoria Art Museum saw robbers calmly pay US$2.25 apiece for tickets and ask a curator to show them specific paintings at the gallery before they pulled out pistols and forced all others to the ground, officials said.
They tied up the curator and others before collecting the paintings they previously asked about.
The robbers favoured oil paintings in their theft, grabbing a 1931 painting by famous South African artist Irma Stern of brightly coloured sailboats waiting against a pier, city spokesman Pieter de Necker said.