Four armed men entered the Chácara do Céu Museum, in the Santa Teresa district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday afternoon, February 24, and left with what are considered the four most valuable paintings in the museum’s collection. The museum is linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Culture.
According to the director of the museum, Vera de Alencar, the stolen paintings are "The Dance," by Pablo Picasso; "Two Balconies," by Salvador Dali; "Marine," by Claude Monet; and "The Luxembourg Garden," by Henri Matisse; as well as "Bulls," a book of Picasso engravings.
The Ministry of Culture’s Museums Department and the Regional Federal Police Superintendency were immediately informed of the theft, which occurred while the Carmelite Carnival bloc was parading through the district’s hilly streets.
During the robbery, the four men immobilized the security guard and eight other people, including five foreign tourists who were visiting the museum, and ordered the internal TV circuit to be disconnected.
According to Alencar, everything points to an action by specialists in this kind of theft, since the works are extremely valuable and internationally renowned.