Back in late 2012, a gang of Romanian art thieves entered Rotterdam's Kunsthal gallery and hauled away seven paintings by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, and Lucian Freud -- names that may as well be written entirely in dollar signs like they're '90s rappers, because the combined worth of the collection was estimated to be somewhere in the nine-figure range.
Clearly, this is worth millions.
But while the heist itself was surprisingly simple (three men, led by Radu Dogaru, literally walked into the museum and back out with the paintings), finding a buyer for priceless, obviously stolen artwork isn't. When no patron with a sufficiently bulky bank account proved willing to touch the paintings with a ten-foot pole, Dogaru gave them to his mom, who buried them in a cemetery in the small Romanian village of Caracliu, because that's apparently what you do with paintings when you want to keep them safe.
Dogaru and Co. were arrested for the heist based on security footage, but prosecutors were missing a key piece of evidence: the stolen (and subsequently buried) paintings. Mama Dogaru soon became nervous for her overly art-appreciating boy when the authorities came a-knockin' in search of said evidence. Risking a severe haunting, she went out to the graveyard, dug the paintings back up, and burned them in her oven.
This is good practice for stuff that rises from Romanian graveyards.
Or at least, that's what she claimed at first. In an obvious bid to reciprocate her over-protectiveness, it seems Radu convinced Mama Dogaru to recant her story. She later claimed that she hadn't torched the paintings after all. But forensic experts analyzing the contents of her oven found the remnants of pigments consistent with those used in the stolen paintings. (Read: deadly poisons that artists historically painted with, because 19th-century painters didn't give one hammered shit about anything.) Dogaru presumably then claimed that those came from the other, totally-not-stolen artwork that his mom burns on the regular, because the secret ingredient that lends her pies their signature flaky crust is the ceaseless wailing of the art-loving world.
J. Olasz is an aspiring writer, has an actual book which you may like, and has created gaming modules, a Lego webcomic, and of course has a Twitter.
For more impressive failures of humanity, check out 6 Natural Disasters That Were Caused by Human Stupidity and 8 Terrifying Animal Swarms Created by Human Stupidity.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out 5 People Who Need to Put Down Their F#@%ing Camera, and other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, and never trust interns.