Factbox: High profile art thefts

(Reuters) - Art thieves stole works by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Amedeo Modigliani worth 500 million euros ($620.8 million) from a Paris museum, French police and prosecutors said on Thursday.

Here are details of some major art thefts:

April 1991 - In what was then billed as the world’s biggest art robbery, 20 paintings, estimated to be worth $500 million, were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. They were found shortly afterwards in an abandoned car not far away.

Nov 1993 - Eight works by Picasso and French cubist Georges Braque, valued at some $60 million, were stolen from Stockholm’s Modern Museum. Some were recovered in the following months.

Dec 22, 2001 - “Conversation” and “A Young Parisienne” by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and a self-portrait by Dutch master Rembrandt were stolen from Stockholm’s National Museum. “Conversation” was recovered the following April.

Dec 7, 2002 - Two Vincent Van Gogh oil paintings worth millions of dollars were snatched by thieves in a daring robbery at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Aug 27, 2003 - In Scotland, thieves stole the “Madonna With the Yarnwinder” by Leonardo da Vinci. The work, painted in the early 16th century, was valued at about $53 million.

Aug 22, 2004 - Armed robbers stole “The Scream” from the Munch Museum in Oslo, the second time in 10 years that a version of the painting was stolen. Thieves also took “Madonna” by Munch. The paintings, from 1893, were recovered in August 2006.

Feb 26, 2007 - Two Picasso paintings, identified by police as “Maya a la poupee” (Maya with doll) a 1938 portrait of his daughter, and “Portrait de femme, Jacqueline” were stolen from Picasso’s daughter’s house in Paris. The paintings were recovered in August.

December 20 - In Brazil thieves stole Picasso’s 1904 work “Portrait of Suzanne Bloch,” worth up to $50 million, and local painter Candido Portinari’s 1939 “The Coffee Worker,” valued at about $5.5 million, from Sao Paulo’s leading art museum. Both paintings were recovered the next month.

Feb 6, 2008 - Two Picasso paintings worth several million dollars, the “Tete de Cheval” (Horse’s head), from 1962, and “Verre et Pichet” (Glass and pitcher), from 1944 were stolen from a cultural center in the eastern Swiss town of Pfaeffikon.

Feb 11, 2008 - Four oil paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet were stolen from the Buehrle Collection in Zurich. Two of the paintings, “Poppies Near Vetheuil” by Claude Monet and “Blossoming Chestnut Branches” by Van Gogh, were found in good condition on Feb 18 in a car in Zurich. They are worth an estimated 70 million Swiss francs ($63.98 million). Cezanne’s “The Boy in the Red Vest” and Degas’ “Viscount Lepic and His Daughters,” worth a total of $164 million are still missing.

December 30, 2009 - A drawing by French impressionist Edgar Degas was stolen from a museum in the Mediterranean city of Marseille. Police said the pastel work, “The Chorus,” was worth an estimated 800,000 euros.

January 1, 2010 - Thieves have stolen about 30 paintings, including a work by Pablo Picasso. The haul, which also included a painting by post-impressionist Henri Rousseau, was worth about 1 million euros ($1.43 million). The theft was at the house in the Provencal village of La Cadiere d’Azur.

May 20, 2010 - Five paintings were stolen from the Musee d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris - the stolen works include Picasso’s “Dove with Green Peas,” Matisse’s “Pastorale,” Braque’s “Olive tree near l’Estaque,” Modigliani’s “Woman on the range” and Leger’s “Still life with candlesticks.”