Thieves steal 10 paintings in swift raid on Brussels museum

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Thieves stole 10 paintings worth a total of 1.5 million euros (S$2.5 million) in a swift nightime burglary at a Brussels museum, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

In the early hours of Tuesday, the thieves broke a window on the ground floor of the Van Buuren Museum in the leafy Brussels suburb of Uccle, and even though the alarm was triggered, the thieves were gone before the police arrived.

"The whole thing only lasted two minutes and three seconds," said Ms Isabelle Anspach, the curator of the museum.

The most expensive paintings were The Thinker by Dutch artist Kees van Dongen and Shrimps and Shells by Belgian painter James Ensor, which accounted for 80 per cent of the loss, Ms Anspach said.

Belgian prosecutors said two witnesses saw the thieves speeding off in a BMW.