Masters of the Art

Short of helping the thieves carry the booty to their car, Budapest's Fine Arts Museum seems to have done every thing possible to ensure the success of the heist. With apparent ease, robbers penetrated the museum's flimsy security last week and plundered its fine collection of old masters. Unhindered, they cut or lifted seven Italian paintings from their frames, then spirited them out of the building. Declared shaken Museum Director Klara Garas: "It is a catastrophe."

The robbers seemed to know their art: included were two works by the 16th century Venetian master...

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