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Picasso, Matisse Paintings Stolen From Paris Museum, AFP Says

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Thieves stole five paintings including works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse from the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris, according to unidentified officials quoted by the French news agency AFP.

The paintings, worth about 500 million euros ($616 million), were discovered missing before the museum opened earlier today, AFP reported. The other works were by Georges Braque, Fernand Leger and Amedeo Modigliani, AFP said. Museum officials found a broken window and sawn-off padlock, and surveillance cameras showed someone entering the museum by the window, the agency said.

E-mail and telephone inquiries to the Paris police and the city authorities were not immediately answered.

To contact the writer on the story: Catherine Hickley in Berlin at chickley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net

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