And finally… brush with the law

A museum worker who used his access to steal paintings and auction them off to fund a “luxurious lifestyle” has been spared jail.

The 30-year-old worker with a role in managing the collection of a Munich museum admitted stealing four paintings over a two-year period, in one case replacing the original with a forgery.

After swapping it for a fake, the man — who has not been named — sold Das Märchen vom Froschkönig (The Tale of the Frog Prince) by Franz von Stuck in a local auction house for nearly €50,000.

He told the auction house that the painting had belonged to his great-grandparents or grandparents, and it was ultimately sold to a Swiss gallery.

He also made nearly €13,000 by stealing and selling Die Weinprüfung (The Wine Test) by Eduard von Grützner and Zwei Mädchen beim Holzsammeln im Gebirge (Two Girls Collecting Wood in the Mountains) by Franz von Defregger, and unsuccessfully attempted to sell von Defregger’s Dirndl as well.

He used the money to pay off debts and buy a new apartment, expensive wristwatches and a Rolls Royce.

Munich District Court sentenced the man to one year and nine months on probation and ordered him to repay around €60,000 in compensation.

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