ТОП 10:

Parisian art treasures prove tempting




A lone hooded intruder who squirmed through a broken window and evaded security alarms stole five paintings by Picasso, Matisse and other artists overnight Wednesday from the Paris Museum of Modern Art.

The brash theft was valued at about ?90 million to ?100 million, or $111 mil­lion to $124 million.

Museum officials discovered the theft shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday, and said they had captured video images of the black-clad burglar as the intruder stole into the museum's Art Deco building, which sits across from the Eiffel Tower.

The burglary — which triggered no electronic alarms — raised fresh ques­tions about museum security in the French capital. Last summer, a thief snatched a red sketchbook of 33 Picasso drawings from the Picasso Museum while it was undergoing renovations.

Security alarms did not sound in that case, either.

On Thursday, the site of the heist was closed to visitors and cordoned off by in­vestigators. A simple notice was posted on its heavy double doors, blaming the closing for "technical reasons."

The stolen works, part of the mu­seum's permanent collection, were "Dove With Green Peas" by Picasso, "La Pastorale" by Matisse, "Olive Tree Near Estaque" by Georges Braque, "Woman With a Fan" by Amedeo Modigliani and "Still Life With Chan­deliers" by Fernand Leger.

The stature of the paintings would make them difficult to sell in the art market, raising questions about wheth­er the theft was a form of kidnapping to demand ransom from the museum.

Police and museum officials said little about the security failure, particularly whether the alarm system had malfunc­tioned or had been disabled.

The French newspaper Le Parisien quoted an unidentified source from the museum who claimed that the security alarm had not worked for two months, and that the management had been notified of the problem. But Christophe Girard, deputy mayor of culture for Paris, told reporters that the museum was equipped with security alarms, and that three armed guards patrolling the mu­seum on Wednesday night had not no­ticed anything amiss.

"We must leave it to the police to de­termine how the security system was evaded," Mr. Girard said.

The theft, he added, was carried out "by one or more individuals, obviously very organized," who entered by break­ing a window at the rear of the east wing of the Palais de Tokyo, which houses the museum.

Police officers carried out the original frames left behind by the burglar to search for fingerprints, passing them through the broken shards of a museum window. According to authorities, sur­veillance images show a hooded in­truder, dressed in black, who smashed through a window and then used bolt cutters to remove a grid, Bertrand.

Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, said the theft "is an intolerable attack on the universal cultural heritage of Paris." He announced that the museum, which is owned by the city, would remain closed while the investigation continues.

Words to be memorized:


Tempting - искушение

Art treasures – сокровища искусства

Security alarm – охранная сигнализация

Theft – кража

Burglar – вор-взломщик

Snatch – хватать

Sketchbook – альбом

Investigator –следователь

Ransom – выкуп

Failure – (зд.) авария

Deputy mayor - заместитель мэра

Amiss – плохой

Evade – избегать

Fingerprints – отпечатки пальцев

Hood – капюшон

Cutter – режущий инструмент

Grid – решетка

Heritage – наследие


1. Questions:

1) What happened at the Paris Museum of Modern Art?

2) Why didn’t the security alarm sound?

3) How did the intruder get into the museum?

4) Were the frames left behind by the burglar?

5) What did the surveillance images show?

II. Translate from Russian into English:


1) Взломщик в капюшоне проник через разбитое окно в парижский музей современного искусства.

2) Охранная сигнализация почему-то не сработала.

3) В четверг, пока работали следователи, на тяжелые двойные двери музея повесили простую табличку “Закрыто по техническим причинам”.

4) Украденные работы были сокровищами из постоянной коллекции музея.

5) Мэр Парижа заявил, что музей будет закрыт на всё время ведения следствия.


Text 3.

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