Armed Robbers Break Into TEFAF Maastricht, Forcing Fair to Evacuate

Dutch police said they were looking for multiple men after they broke into TEFAF Maastricht in the Netherlands, an art fair known for selling top-notch antiquities and Old Master paintings.

Police in Maastricht said that the men conducted an attempted robbery at around 11:30 a.m. local time and that two people involved have already been arrested.

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The fair was briefly evacuated after the incident. Police said that no one had been hurt during it and no objects stolen.

An investigation is “continuing in full swing,” Maastricht police said.

“TEFAF has robust procedures in the event of a security breach,” a spokesperson for the fair said. “These were precisely followed, and all visitors, exhibitors and staff were safely evacuated. The fair has now reopened.”

Video that appears to show the robbery was posted to social media. The footage displays a chaotic scene in which multiple men are confronted by security officers as glass is smashed with a stanchion and a bouquet of flowers is nearly hurled.

La Tribune de l’Art posted an image that seemed to show the aftermath of the event: a picture of a shattered display case filled with jewelry. The publication said that the robbers had exited the fair by going through the restaurant.

TEFAF, one of Europe’s top fairs, is currently having its first in-person fair in its home base of Maastricht since 2020, when it became the final major event of its kind in Europe before lockdown. That edition ended up shuttering early because multiple attendees reported that they had tested positive for Covid after visiting.

This year’s fair is set to run through Thursday. Among the sales that have reportedly taken place so far is one at the booth of Madrid’s Galería Caylus, which said it sold a painting of the Virgin and child for 1.5 million euros ($1.58 million).


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