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Four charged with trying to sell stolen Rembrandt

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13:34 CET+01:00
Four men were indicted in Sweden on Friday for trying to sell a stolen Rembrandt self-portrait valued at some 37 million dollars, the Stockholm district court said.

The four, all Swedish nationals, were charged with dealing in stolen goods. They face up to six years in prison if found guilty.

The work was stolen along with two paintings by the French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in a spectacular armed heist at Sweden's National Museum in December 2000.

The heist took place just five minutes before closing, when three masked and heavily armed men walked into the museum, in the center of the Swedish capital, and snatched the precious artworks from the walls as crowds of witnesses looked on.

The three robbers threw spikes onto the road to slow the police chase and set several parked cars on fire before fleeing in a speedboat waiting for them outside the waterfront museum.

Nine men were later handed heavy prison sentences in Sweden for their role in the theft, including a 47-year-old Swede currently serving eight years for masterminding the robbery.

The painting was recovered in September when the four Swedes were arrested in a Copenhagen hotel as they tried to sell the painting for a mere 200,000 dollars.

The two Renoirs have also been recovered.

AFP

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