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Originally published Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:55 PM

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Armed robbers steal paintings from Dutch museum

Masked gunmen stole two paintings from a Dutch museum Friday, including a work by surrealist Salvador Dali, officials said.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands —

Masked gunmen stole two paintings from a Dutch museum Friday, including a work by surrealist Salvador Dali, officials said.

Police said several robbers threatened a guard at the Scheringa Museum for Realism in Spanbroek with a gun before making off with two paintings. Nobody was injured.

The robbers took "Adolescence," a 1941 gouache by Dali and "La Musicienne," an oil painting from 1929 by Polish-born art deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, the museum said in a statement.

The paintings' value was not released, but the museum says they are among the top works in its collection.

The Dali painting was 18 x 12 inches (45 by 30 centimeters) and the De Lempicka's was 46 x 29 inches (116 by 73 centimeters).

"We deeply regret the theft and hope the works are traced soon," according to a statement from the museum, which is 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Amsterdam.

The Dali painting shows a landscape in which a woman's face can be seen - her lips and nose are formed by the back of a seated woman and her eyes are part of two hills in the background.

The Lempicka shows a woman in a vivid blue dress playing a mandolin-like instrument.

The museum houses the art collection of wealthy Dutch banker Dirk Scheringa and his wife.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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