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Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK
Expressionist art stolen in Berlin
Bruecke museum in Berlin
Thieves got in through a rear window
Nine Expressionist paintings have been stolen from an art gallery in the German capital, Berlin, in a dawn break-in.

The pictures - which include works by Erich Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - are estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

The management at the Bruecke museum said they doubted the paintings could be sold on the art market because they were well known.
Stolen works include:
Ernst Kirchner's Tiergarten Berlin (1912)
Emil Nolde's Herr Sch. (1915)
Max Pechstein's Junges Maedchen (1908)

Police said the thieves got in through a back window after disconnecting the alarm.

Correspondents say the gallery houses one of the most important collections of expressionist art - a style that emerged largely in Germany in the early 20th Century.

'Degenerate art'

Bruecke - German for Bridge - was the name of the northern school of German Expressionism, a revolutionary artistic movement that flourished around the time of the World War II, promoting a subjective, emotional, angular art.

The group's works were banned as "degenerate art" by the Nazis after they took power in 1933.

The gallery in south-west Berlin, which was opened in 1967, has more than 400 paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures.

See also:

28 Jul 01 | Arts
Stockholm art thieves jailed
26 Mar 01 | Europe
Stolen 'Picassos' found in Turkey
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