On May 29th, the Agence Frence-Presse (AFP) broke the news that the paintings from the Kunsthal Museum stolen on October 16 have been burned.  The Romanian police are now examining the ashes found at the home of Olga Dogaru, the mother of one of the suspected thieves.

Gabriela Neagu, spokeswoman for the Romanian prosecutor’s office told the AFP, “Tests are underway, they may take some time.  The ash tests are in a stage of the ongoing probe, investigators have to take every hypothesis into account.”

The hypothesis is that the paintings, worth approximately €100 million ($130 Million), were burned by the thieves to destroy evidence after they failed to find a buyer and were not offered a reward to return the paintings .

Dogaru’s lawyer told the Dutch website NU.NL that tests on the ashes were so far inconclusive and not proof of any crime.

Dogaru and seven suspects have been arrested in relation to the Kunsthal theft.  For our past coverage visit: “More Arrests in the Kunstal Museum Theft and New Speculation that Paintings were Burned.”

Source: “Investigators Analyze Ashes Taken from the House of One of the Suspects as Dutch Heist Painting Fear Burnt,” Art Daily, May 30, 2013.