Mum torches art masterpieces to save son

Is it just me or have you too noticed that the world has gone "art-theft crazy." I mean, what do you do with stolen art by Picasso and the like. You can't hang them in your house. Surely your friends might mention the sudden appearance of a dazzling original Picasso in your hallway? You can't sell the bloody things either. Pssst. Excuse me. Wanna buy a Picasso? It's genuine - honest.
That leaves the old insurance scam. Sell them back to the insurance company for 10% of their value. The problem there is that doing that is like tattooing a sign on your forehead that says: "Look at me, I am the thief". Or you could just throw up the head and get your old mum to burn them.
And, apparently, that's just what has happened. The Guardian reports that "a Romanian museum is analysing ashes found in a stove to see if they are the remains of seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and others that were stolen last year from the Netherlands. The ashes found in the stove of Olga Dogaru, mother of Radu Dogaru, one of three Romanian suspects charged with stealing the paintings from Rotterdam's Kunsthal gallery in a daytime heist.
It was the biggest art theft in more than a decade in the Netherlands. The stolen works have an estimated value of tens of millions of dollars if they were sold at auction.
Dogaru told investigators she was scared for her son after he was arrested in January and buried the art in an abandoned house and then in a cemetery in the village of Caracliu. She said she later dug them up and burned them in February after police began searching the village for the stolen works. Chiru indicated that authorities did not necessarily believe Dogaru's account. She said it could take months for the results of the tests to be known.
Thieves broke into the museum on 16 October through a rear emergency exit, took the paintings from the wall and fled, all within two minutes.
The stolen paintings were: Picasso's 1971 Harlequin Head; Monet's 1901 Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London; Matisse's 1919 Reading Girl in White and Yellow; Paul Gauguin's 1898 Girl in Front of Open Window; Meyer de Haan's Self-Portrait, around 1890; and Lucian Freud's 2002 work Woman With Eyes Closed."
Full story: - the Guardian art section (one of the best reads for art lovers).