STRASBOURG, France - The mother [Mireille Breitwieser] of a convicted art thief [Stephane Breitwieser] told a court Thursday how she used a hammer to destroy irreplaceable works of art and force them into trashbags upon learning of her son's arrest.
Her son, a former waiter who once told a Swiss court that his desire to acquire art "became a compulsion," said he had been visiting museums alone since he was 10 and had a passion for works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Bernard Dastries, an official from a French government office for combatting trafficking in cultural relics, told reporters Thursday that the haul was worth an estimated $13 million to $20 million.
Seems that the mother thought the pieces were flea market finds. When she found out they weren't during her sons' legal battles, she did everything she could to destroy all the art.
The son, who never sold a piece, was a true collector of sorts. He felt so deeply for the lost pieces that he said, "She threw my life into the trash can."
You can't help to (tongue in cheek) feel sorry for him, to have such a passion and have it thrown away.