Zurich Oil Paintings Heist

Cezanne - Boy in a Red Waistcoat Leaning on his ElbowThree men with ski masks strolled into an E. G. Bührle private Collection museum in Zurich, Switzerland in broad daylight, snatched four 19th-century Impressionist masterpieces, tossed them into a moving van, and made their getaway, making it one of the largest and most daring art raids of all time. The crazy thing is it was the second art heist in a 30-mile radius in less than a week…strange ha…

On the first raid, the robbers took two masterpieces by Picasso worth an estimated $4.4 Million. The second time around, they sped off with four masterpieces by four different artists totaling $163 Million:

  • A beautiful and lavish 1890 Vincent Van Gogh masterpiece – “Blossoming Chestnut Branches.”
  • An 1879 extravagant Claude Monet masterpiece – “Poppies near Vetheuil.”
  • An 1871 Edgar Degas portrait – “Count Lepic and his Daughter” (less important than the other three)
  • A popular and one of the most admired Paul Cezanne’s in history – the 1888 “Boy in red Waistcoat”.

There is still no apparent connection between the two robberies other than the vicinity. The problem the thieves face now is to sell these oil paintings on the market, which is virtually impossible, raising the question why did they do it? Was it an ordered job by a private collector? Was it some calling card dare to prove they are up to a bigger challenge? I guess only time will tell…

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.