Police foil attempt to steal Rembrandt paintings from gallery
Police have foiled an attempt to steal two Rembrandt paintings from a south London art gallery.
The Metropolitan Police said the attempted burglary was “audacious” and “clearly planned in advance”.
An intruder broke into the Dulwich Picture Gallery at 11.30pm on Wednesday and removed the valuable paintings from the exhibition.
Officers arrived at the scene minutes after an alarm was triggered and chased the suspect.
The attempted burglar managed to escape after spraying an officer in the face with an unknown substance.
Both paintings were later located inside the gallery and never left the building.
The officer did not suffer any serious injuries.
A gallery spokesperson said: “Last night intruders attempted to remove two paintings from Dulwich Picture Gallery’s ‘Rembrandt’s Light’ exhibition.
“The intruders were detected by the gallery’s robust security systems and, thanks to the immediate intervention of security staff and the swift response of the Metropolitan Police, the paintings were secured at the scene.”
The gallery was closed on Thursday and Friday as police investigated the incident.
Detective Inspector Jason Barber said: “Two paintings in the exhibition were targeted and it was only down to the prompt response of gallery security staff and the courage and swift intervention of officers that these two works of art were not stolen.
“Thankfully both the paintings were quickly recovered and secured.”
The exhibition features 35 pieces of Rembrandt’s work, including paintings loaned by the Louvre in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.