The Hemisphere: Culture Raid

As a midafternoon crowd of 1,000 Venezuelans browsed among the Picassos and Van Goghs in a Louvre road show entitled "100 Years of French Painting," a pair of automobiles and a panel truck rolled up to Caracas' Museum of Fine Arts. Out jumped eight men and two women armed with pistols and submachine guns. The four National Guardsmen on duty were marched inside at gunpoint; museum officials were herded into a room; telephones were ripped out. In one of the exhibition halls, the gang snatched three of the Louvre's pictures from the wall. A pistol-toting woman shouted: "Do not be afraid!...

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