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February 8, 2023

Designer Catalin Botezatu’s assistant, detained in theft of paintings from Rotterdam museum

Fashion designer Catalin Botezatu’s assistant Petre Condrat was detained for 24 hours on Monday evening in the case concerning the theft of seven paintings from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, being accused of hiding a stolen item, sources close to the investigations stated, being quoted by Mediafax. According to the aforementioned sources, Botezatu was heard on Monday evening at the headquarters of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). The sources did not point out however in what capacity Botezatu was called in at the hearings. The fashion designer subsequently stated on Romania TV that he has no capacity in the stolen paintings case and that he was at DIICOT for “an audience” he had requested, not in order to be heard by the prosecutors. “I have nothing to do with this case apart from the fact that the boy (Petre Condrat – editor’s note) is my assistant,” Botezatu stated, pointing out that he did not work with Condrat in August – December 2012. Botezatu also stated that he was not in the country last year when the stolen paintings were appraised. He also pointed out that no searches took place at his workshops and in his opinion his assistant is innocent. On the other hand, police sources claim that policemen and prosecutors are analyzing the personal computers confiscated from the three suspects during searches. Investigators want to find out whether the computers contain clues concerning the robbery and the place where the paintings stolen from Rotterdam could be. We remind our readers that seven paintings worth around GBP 100 M, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin and Lucian Freud, were stolen from the Kunsthal Museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on the night of 15 to 16 October 2012. The paintings included Monet’s Waterloo Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge (both 1901), Picasso’s Harlequin Head (1971), Matisse’s Reading Girl In White And Yellow (1919) and Lucian Freud’s Woman With Eyes Closed (2002). Gauguin’s Girl in Front of Open Window (1898) and Meyer de Haan’s Autoportrait (1890) were also taken.

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