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Battle Ax Stolen From Louvre _ Museum’s Second Theft in a Week

January 20, 1995

PARIS (AP) _ A thief tore a battle ax from a 17th century sculpture and slipped out of the Louvre during visiting hours in the museum’s second major theft this month.

The ax, about 3 feet long and weighing 37 pounds, was taken Wednesday evening from the foot of a 1685 bronze by Martin Desjardins. The theft occured despite the fact four security agents were on duty nearby.

On Jan. 11, a thief sliced a $37,000 painting from its frame and walked out with it. ``Deer in the Landscape″ was a 28 x 37-inch oil canvas by 19th century Romance artist Lancelot Theodore Turpin de Crise.

Louvre spokesman Christopher Monin said Friday that ``these two events really shook up the museum.″

``We are reinforcing our security, but I can’t say what those measures are,″ he said in a telephone interview.

Monin said the Louvre would like to hire more guards ``as soon as we have the money for it,″ but noted government efforts to hold down spending.

The museum, one of the largest in the world, has 950 security guards but only 240 on the job at any given time.

Last July, the ``Portrait of Jean Dorieu,″ a 1660 pastel by Robert de Nanteuil valued at about $85,000, disappeared from the museum.

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