Works by Picasso and others stolen in Spain

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Thieves in Spain stole a truck containing about 20 works of art, including at least one by Pablo Picasso, worth at least five million euros (6.6 million dollars), officials and reports said Thursday.

The works were to be delivered to galleries in Madrid and Barcelona after being on display at an exhibition in Germany, reports said.

Three masked men stole the parked truck on Saturday in an industrial zone in Getafe on Madrid's southern outskirts, Getafe town councillor Sara Hernandez told a news conference.

"The way it was carried out leads us to believe that there was inside information that facilitated the theft of this truck because they had plenty of information regarding when it arrived, when it would leave to distribute art to other cities and galleries, where the truck was," she said.

A police spokesman refused to confirm the details of the theft, saying only that an investigation was underway.

Hernandez and police would not say exactly what art was stolen.

But the online edition of the daily newspaper El Pais and other media said the haul included at least one work by Picasso as well as some by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida and Catalan artist Antoni Tapies.

© 2010 AFP

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