Two paintings worth $750 and $5000 each were stolen from the Eliot House Senior Common Room sometime this week, Harvard Police Lieutenant Joseph Kenny said last night.
Kenny said the paintings were reported stolen early Thursday morning. "There were no signs of breaking or entering," he said, "but the room is open from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. every day, so they were evidently stolen between those times."
The paintings were officially last seen on Monday during a security check by the Fogg Art Museum, Daniel Robbins, director of the Museum, said last night. The Museum had loaned the paintings to Eliot House.
Robbins said the two paintings were a "very valuable" water color portrait by Albert Sterner and an oil landscape by Jules Dupre.
"It is a great shame that we have lost such valuable works of art," Robbins said. "I cannot imagine why anyone would steal them," he added, "because they will not be able to sell them for profit. Any art dealer has pictures of the paintings and knows where they belong."
The possibility exists that this incident could jeopardize the Museum loan system, Robbins said. "I don't think the Museum will actually cut off loans to the Houses this time, but something must be done," he added.
"We will have to ask the House Masters and others in charge to tighten up on security," Robbins continued, "because the paintings are very valuable as they are."
Robbins said the Museum's policy is to lend fairly liberally. "The idea is to have people live with art, rather than having it stored away at the Fogg. If such incidents continue, however, paintings will no longer be allowed to hang in the Houses," he added.
Alan Heimert, '49, Master of Eliot House, said last night that he he knew nothing of the specifics of the heist