Munich gallery employee replaces paintings with forgeries to buy luxury car

Munich gallery employee replaces paintings with forgeries to buy luxury car

An employee at a museum in Munich has been sentenced after he was found to have replaced collection paintings with forgeries, auctioned off the originals and spent the profits on a luxury car.

Munich museum worker sentenced for stealing paintings

A man who worked at the Deutsches Museum in Munich has been sentenced by the city’s district court after he was found guilty of stealing famous paintings from the gallery, replacing them with forgeries and selling them off.

Between 2016 and 2018, the 30-year-old is said to have carried out the same crime three different times and made a fourth attempt. Pretending that some of the works had belonged to his grandparents, the thief sold off the paintings to an auction house in Munich and a gallery in Switzerland. He is said to have used his earnings to buy luxury watches and a Rolls Royce.

The paintings in question included Das Märchen vom Froschkönig by German symbolist painter Franz von Stuck, which was sold for 49.127,40 euros in cash. Two other works; Die Weinprüfung by Eduard von Grützner and Zwei Mädchen beim Holzsammeln im Gebirge by Franz von Defregger made him another 12.000 euros.

Painting thief says he acted without thinking

The painting thief has now been sentenced to almost two years in prison and has been ordered to pay 60.000 euros in compensation.

Showing regret in the stand, the young man said that he had “acted without thinking” and that he could “no longer explain his behaviour”.

Thumb image credit: vvoe /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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