Lawyers hint at possible recovery of stolen Dutch art

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tags: NYT, art, Netherlands, Romania, heists

BRUSSELS — Paintings worth tens of millions of dollars that were stolen last October from an art museum in the Netherlands have not been burned, and a Romanian gang behind the theft wants to cut an unspecified deal with the authorities so the artwork can be returned, lawyers for the defendants said on Tuesday as they went on trial in Romania.

“Our clients want to tell where the paintings are, but they want to make a deal,” one of the lawyers, Radu Catalin Dancu, told reporters in Bucharest after a judge ordered the trial adjourned until next month. “We cannot say anything more than that.”

Mr. Dancu represents Radu Dogaru, who is accused of being the leader of the gang, and his mother, Olga, who initially told investigators that she had incinerated all seven stolen paintings in a stove at the family home in Carcaliu, a remote Romanian village. She said she had burned them to destroy evidence of her son’s role in the robbery at the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam. But she later changed her story, insisting that the paintings had been taken away for safekeeping by an unidentified Russian-speaking man in a black car....

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