French thieves nab metal parts of German artist Anselm Kiefer's sculpture

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French thieves nab metal parts of German artist Anselm Kiefer's sculpture
A visitor looks at the artwork "The Renowned Orders of the Night" by German artist Anselm Kiefer at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Photo: ANDER GILLENEA/AFP.

Thieves have stolen parts of a lead sculpture by German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer from a warehouse in France, representing a loss of more than $1 million, a prosecutor said on Friday.


Kiefer, 78, is renowned for his bleak sculptures and installations confronting his country's Nazi past and selling for millions on the market. Several of his works have featured oversized lead books.

The burglars broke into the grounds of the artist's warehouse in the town of Croissy-Beaubourg east of Paris on Thursday before dawn, the prosecutor in nearby town of Meaux, Jean-Baptiste Bladier, said.

"CCTV footage showed four individuals breaching the car park barrier, entering the premises and cutting through the steel fence surrounding the work, before making off with lead books that were part of it," he said.

"The artist has estimated damage of more than $1 million."

The theft is the latest targeting the contemporary art icon, with previous burglaries thought to have aimed to monetise the value of the lead he uses, rather than the art pieces themselves.

Another such robbery at the same site in 2016 saw the artist suffer some $1.5 million in losses, while security guards chased away would-be plunderers
in 2019.

Kiefer starred in a 3D documentary by German director Wim Wenders titled "Anselm" that premiered out of competition at the last Cannes film festival.



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