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Art Heist: Do you blame the thief who snagged the paintings or the Paris museum that let them go?

May 20, 2010 |  8:22 pm

RemovingframeSome pundits this week were quick to cast the theft of five major paintings by the likes of Picasso and Matisse from the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris as the work of a sophisticated criminal with equally sophisticated tastes in art.

But others say the museum has nobody to blame but itself, as its alarm system has been broken in some galleries since March 30.

"The director of the museum should be fired right away," says Ton Cremers, a consultant who used to be head of security at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. "It's unthinkable that your security system not be fully working for two months. It's like inviting the thieves in."

Kevin Keubeuze, a 16-year-old skateboarder who uses the “dome” outside the museum building, the Palais de Tokyo, seems to agree. For the full story, click here.

--Jori Finkel

Image: French police remove an empty frame from the crime scene. Benoit Tessier for Reuters.