Five paintings, including a Matisse and a Picasso, were stolen overnight from a Paris museum, the Paris mayor`s office said Thursday, according to CNN.
The paintings were stolen from the Museum of Modern Art and included works by Georges Braque, Ferdinand Leger and Amedeo Modigliani, French police said.
The artworks are worth a total of just less than 100 million euros ($123.7 million), said Christophe Girard, an aide to the mayor of Paris. The city runs the museum.
But the prosecutor`s office estimated the value of the lost works at 500 million euros ($617 million.)
The mayor`s office, the museum and the police all refused to tell CNN which paintings were stolen.
But French media named them as "Le Pigeon aux Petits Pois" (Pigeon with peas) by Picasso, "La Pastorale" (The Pastoral) by Matisse, "L`Olivier pres de l`Estaque" (Olive Tree near the Estaque) by Braque, "La femme a l`eventail" (Woman with Fan) by Modigliani, and "Nature morte aux chandeliers" (Still Life with Candlesticks) by Leger.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said he was "particularly saddened and shocked by this theft which is an intolerable affront to the universal cultural heritage of Paris."
Girard said security systems at the museum had been disabled.
"There are three people in the museum at all times," he said, but they saw nothing, which he said was evidence of tampering with the security systems.
"We must absolutely leave the police to find out how the security system was disabled and how these important paintings were stolen," he said on BFM TV, a CNN affiliate.CNN