Canada’s largest artwork theft of all time stays a thriller

Canada’s largest artwork theft of all time stays a thriller
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“Who hasn’t learn a novel a couple of main artwork heist? This was a chance to be a part of a novel,” stated former CTV Montreal reporter Bob Benedetti.

It was in Montreal, in 1972, a 12 months into his job as a reporter for CFCF (a CTV affiliate), when Benedetti coated a narrative so large, it made headlines world wide.

Benedetti acquired the telephone name on September 4, 1972. The Montreal Museum of High quality Arts, Canada’s oldest artwork museum, was looted in a single day. He was one of many first reporters on the scene.

When he arrived, police have been looking out the premises for proof, in search of any clues as to how 53 items of artwork and jewellery have been stolen from the historic museum.

It quickly turned clear to Benedetti that this was no odd crime. It was, and nonetheless is, Canada’s largest artwork heist.

“A two million greenback portray was loads in these days. Two million was actual cash,” Benedetti informed CTV W5. However what actually shocked him was how the thieves have been capable of pull it off.

“I may most likely title just a few novels the place thieves went right into a skylight and went down [rope]The entire thing was straight out of a novel,” he stated.

Investigators informed Benedetti that three thieves gained entry to the museum’s roof. They then entered a skylight that was beneath restore. It was not panicked at the moment and was simply coated with a plastic sheet. Like spies in a Hollywood film, they decrease a rope and slide down the museum flooring undetected. As soon as inside, they encountered little resistance. A single shotgun blast was sufficient to subdue the guards.

Thieves systematically tore the museum’s most precious work from the partitions. Among the many objects stolen have been work by Delacroix, Jan Bruegel the Elder, Millet, Rubens and Rembrandt.

In 1972, the foundations for roaming reporters have been ‘relaxed’. In actual fact, Benedetti was capable of stroll proper as much as the ladder left behind by the thieves, and climb it to report a arise. CTV has footage of an intrepid younger reporter gaining unprecedented entry to a bit of proof, in the course of against the law scene.

Canada’s largest artwork theft of all time stays a thrillerIn 1972, Bob Benedetti was capable of stroll proper as much as a ladder left behind by artwork thieves and climb it to report a arise. (CTV Information Archives)

“Not like in the present day, the place it might be surrounded by police vehicles and yellow crime tape and all the pieces, there was nothing like that,” Benedetti stated, “issues have been a little bit extra regular in these days. That truth That I may climb the ladder. , an enormous piece of proof, to face…”

One thing that might by no means occur in the present day.

Benedetti remembers his relationship with the police. “There was a sure belief and camaraderie that we have been doing the identical factor. We have been making an attempt to determine who did what they usually have been making an attempt to determine who did what,” he stated.

The police have been in bother. “I do not keep in mind them ever having any actual suspects. , a variety of these circumstances, that they had somebody they knew, however they could not show it,” Benedetti stated. “However on this case, that they had no concept. Maybe that’s the reason such thefts have been new in Canada. There have been no skilled artwork thieves roaming round.”

Laughing, Benedetti informed us, “, folks did not rob museums. They robbed banks. We have been the financial institution theft capital of Canada.

Bob Benedetti is an award-winning former journalist whose 35-year profession spanned quite a lot of roles, together with newscaster and producer.

Benedetti had his personal concept: “It smells to me like a bunch of native guys who have been actually fortunate, in that possibly the busy weekend helped distract from the investigation.”

Fifty years later, no hint of the stolen artwork has been discovered and police are not any nearer to discovering out who was capable of pull off Canada’s largest artwork heist. Montreal police informed W5 the case is now “closed.”

He additionally stated, “If new data comes out, we’ll confirm it and if it seems to be critical, we’ll reopen the case.”

Watch CTV W5’s documentary ‘Riders and the Misplaced Artwork’ on Saturday at 7pm

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