Art thieves score €2 million payday

A group of unknown art thieves scored a €2 million payday recently, when a retired academic's personal art collection was looted in Vienna.

According to police, the perpetrators broke into the Hietzing villa of a retired professor in August, and stole 71 pieces of art by a host of celebrated Austrian artists, including Emil Beischläger, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfons Walde.

The 73-year-old woman was on holiday at the time.  

The art is valued at more than €2 million.  Police believe that the theft was the work of professionals, as they left no traces behind.

Both the villa and the garden had been well-secured, according to police.  

"They were professionals. They knew how and what they stole," police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger said. Police believe they must have used a truck to transport the collection. 

The Federal Criminal Police has put photos of all the stolen pictures online at and are asking for information.

One of the stolen art works by Oskar Kokoschka.  Photo: Police

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