The alarm of the Gallery sounded at 4:52 am and the guard, who so far had not suspected anything, saw one person running away from the building. He immediately searched the Gallery grounds and found out that two paintings were missing, and thus informed the authorities.
From that moment Police and Forensic Service officers have remained on the premises, investigating the site to determine how the theft occured.
One of the two stolen paintings is by Pablo Picasso, painted in 1934 and donated to the National Gallery by a French association in the ‘40s.
Police say the perpetrators entered from the back of the building, breaking in through the mezzanine balcony door, which they threw off the balcony with its frame.
Then they reached the area where the works were being kept and took off the canvas of two paintings (the second one was also of particularly high value). They tried to steal a third painting but were unsuccessful.
It should be noted that there is a special ongoing exhibition of great painters in the Gallery halls.