Here in the Musée d’Art Moderne Today, Gone Tomorrow

How many museum workers does it take to catch a thief? News early this morning of an art heist at France’s high profile Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris leads us to believe that answer is more than three. City officials are saying that a hooded or masked intruder disabled the Musée’s security system last night, broke through the museum’s window, and gained entry by sawing off a grill padlock granting access.

Like a thief in the night, an actual thief in the night was captured on surveillance footage carting off a Picasso’s 1912 oil painting, Le pigeon aux petits pois (Dove with Green Peas), Henri Matisse’s La Pastorale (Pastoral, 1906), Georges Braque’s L’Olivier près de l’Estaque (Olive tree near Estaque, 1906), Amédéo Modigliani’s La femme a l’éventail (Lady with Fan), and Fernand Léger’s Nature Morte au Chandelier (Still Life with Chandelier, 1922). Apparently beauty sleep is passé when there are real works of beauty to be had. And while you may love The Thomas Crown Affair, don’t get any ideas. This kind of beauty should be, and is, illegal coming with a grand price tag, reading about $123 million, and a stint in prison. Oh mon dieu!

One of the 14 City of Paris museums, located in the 16th district’s Palais de Tokyo across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Art Moderne houses more than 8,000 works of 20th-century modern art. Paris city officials are claiming that this is one of the most daring art heists in years, moving the museum’s permanent collection in more ways than one. It appears that the fly-by-night suspect in question has been stealing universal works of cultural heritage down to a fine art, carefully removing the prominent paintings from their disassembled frames.

The museum is closed at current in order to aid police and city officials with the investigation. If money was the motive, then this will be one stupefied voleur because according to experts, the paintings are unsellable. With the world aware, hopefully the Musée’s pièces de ré·sis·tance are soon returned to its enthralling collection.