Sculptures by Salvador Dali worth nearly £500,000 ($650,661) were stolen early this morning in a smash-and-grab raid on a Stockholm gallery.
The alarm was raised at around 4am on Thursday after at least two thieves broke through the front entrance of the Couleur Art Gallery in the Östermalm neighbourhood.
The burglars worked fast to strip the place of 10 or 12 bronze sculptures by the surrealist master, each worth up to £40,000 and each around 20 inches high.
The two suspects are believed to have sped off in a dark Audi and the police arrived after they had left. Officers had been alerted by a private security firm.
Gallery owner Peder Enstrom told Goteborgs-Posten: ‘The alarm went off at ten past four this morning, and police and security guards were quickly in place.
‘You see the podiums here, they are empty. They have taken all the sculptures. There were about ten.
‘They were worth between 200,000 and 500,000 krona each. So that’s a lot of money. It’s awful.’
The sculptures had been shipped in from Switzerland as part of a 10 day exhibition.
The gallery has been closed off and police have opened an investigation.
Mr Enstrom said that he hoped because the sculptures were numbered they would be difficult to sell.
Dali, a Spanish artist who died in 1989, was famous for his bizarre artworks and often just as renowned for his eccentric behaviour, such as walking his pet anteater.
His most famous work, the 1931 painting ‘The Persistence of Memory,’ is one of the most recognisable works of surrealism. It features melting watches or clocks on a coastal landscape.