The art included the watercolour “Frauenbildnis” by Emil Nolde, the woodcutting “Kopf Dr. Pauli” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the lithograph “Vier Akte auf einer Waldlichtung” by Otto Mueller.
An unidentified man in his late twenties entered Gelsenkirchen's city museum around 11 am and used wire-cutters to clip the art from the walls.
“The man spent only a few minutes in the museum gallery before leaving via the main entrance with the objects under his arm,” the Gelsenkirchen police said. “After the doorman quickly realized he wasn't carrying anything with him upon entering the building, he checked the gallery to discover the theft of the three artworks.”
Police believe the man knew exactly which paintings to take and that he had scoped out the heist beforehand. He used a normally closed room adjacent to the gallery to avoid security personnel inside the museum.