Europe

'Spiderman burglar' goes on trial over Paris art theft

Vjeran Tomic arrives for his trial in Paris, France. Photo: 30 January 2017 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Vjeran Tomic faces 14 charges over the 2010 theft

A man dubbed the "Spiderman burglar" has gone on trial in Paris over a €100m (£85m; $107m) art theft from a museum in the French capital.

Vjeran Tomic, 49, is accused of stealing five paintings, including works by Picasso and Matisse, from the Modern Art Museum in May 2010.

The paintings were stolen after an intruder cut through a padlocked gate and broke a window to enter the museum.

Two alleged accomplices are being tried alongside Mr Tomic.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pastoral painted by Henri Matisse in 1906

What France's stolen masterpieces tell us

According to French media reports, the museum's alarm system had been waiting for repairs when the pictures were stolen during a night raid.

The theft was only noticed the following morning, as security guards were checking the building before opening the doors to the public.

Among the stolen works were Pablo Picasso's Dove with Green Peas, and Pastoral by Henri Matisse, along with paintings by Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigliani and Ferdinand Leger.

The paintings have never been found.

Mr Tomic, a rock climbing enthusiast, was arrested following an anonymous tip to police.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Modern Art Museum is a popular tourist attraction in the French capital

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