Picasso, Monet and other masterpieces stolen in Dutch heist

Updated 17 October 2012
0

Picasso, Monet and other masterpieces stolen in Dutch heist

THE HAGUE: Seven masterpieces, including priceless works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and Gauguin, were stolen in a night heist at Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum, police said yesterday.
“On Tuesday morning seven artworks were stolen from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. In consultation with the owners the police can now release their photos,” police said in a statement after initially declining to identify the works.
The paintings are Pablo Picasso’s “Tete d’Arlequin,” Henri Matisse’s “La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune,” Claude Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge, London” and “Charing Cross Bridge, London,” Paul Gauguin’s “Femme Devant une Fenetre Ouverte, dite La Fiancee,” Meyer de Haan’s “Autoportrait” and Lucian Freud’s “Woman with Eyes Closed.”
“A major investigation is under way and forensics are at the scene,” Rotterdam police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels told AFP. “We’re investigating how they got access, what time it happened and who did it.”
The robbery took place at around 3:00 a.m. (0100 GMT), police said, denying reports that a Van Gogh had also been stolen.
“Police are interviewing possible witnesses and examining closed-circuit video footage,” the statement said. “An initial investigation suggests that the robbery was well prepared.”
She said that police were alerted during the night when an alarm went off but the thief or thieves had made off by the time police arrived at the scene.
The museum is showing works from the Triton Foundation as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, including paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondriaan, according to its website.
A statement on the museum’s website quoted director Willem van Hassel as saying that the museum would be closed to the public yesterday.


Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

Updated 21 June 2018
0

Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

  • The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum.
  • Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events.

ATHENS: Hymns sung to the Greek gods thousands of years ago resonated from ancient musical instruments in Athens on Thursday, transporting a transfixed audience to antiquity.
The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum as part of World Music Day celebrations.
A family of musicians, Lyravlos have recreated exact replicas of the ancient instruments from natural materials including animal shells, bones, hides and horns.
Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events. Today only some 60 written scores of ancient Greek music have survived, said Lyravlos member Michael Stefos.
Stefos said they interpret them as best they can, relying on the accuracy of their recreated instruments.
“Joking aside, ancient CDs have never been found,” he said.
Their performance included a hymn to the god Apollo, pieces played at the musical festival of the ancient Pythian Games in Delphi and during wine-laden rituals to the god Dionysus.
Michael’s father Panayiotis Stefos, who heads the group, travels to museums at home and abroad studying ancient Greek antiquities and texts in order to recreate the instruments.
“Usually each instrument has a different sound. It is not something you can make on a computer, it will not be a carbon copy,” said Stefos.
The difference with modern day instruments?
“If someone holds it in their arms and starts playing, after a few minutes they don’t want to let it go, because it vibrates and pulsates with your body,” he said.
French tourist Helene Piaget, who watched the performance, said it was “inspiring.”
“One sees them on statues, on reliefs, and you can’t imagine what they might sound like,” she said.
World Music Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the summer solstice.