Page last updated at 17:53 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Swiss art collection back on show after heist

Reproduction of Poppies near Vetheuil by Claude Monet (1879)
Monet's Poppies near Vetheuil was recovered a week after the robbery

A Swiss art collection that has been under lock and key since thieves stole its most-prized painting two years ago is to be open to the public again.

Four paintings worth $160m (£103m) were stolen from Zurich's Emil Buehrle Collection by an armed gang in February 2008.

Although two paintings were later recovered, two are still missing.

The Kunsthaus Museum will reopen the collection of 180 paintings and sculptures from Friday.

The show will move to a new wing of the Kunsthaus - designed by British architect David Chipperfield - in 2015.

The thieves stole works by Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and Monet in the heist which was one of the biggest in the world in the last 20 years.

A week after the theft, Monet's Poppies near Vetheuil (1879) and Van Gogh's Chestnut in Bloom (1890) were recovered in an abandoned car parked outside a psychiatric hospital in the city.

Degas' Count Lepic and his Daughters (1871) and Cezanne's Boy in a Red Jacket (1888) have yet to be recovered.

Lukas Gloor, the collection's director, said: "A great many of the pictures of that level that are stolen are recovered in the two to five years after a robbery. If not, then statistics, I'm afraid, turn against us."

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