This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the painting ’Waterloo Bridge, London’ by Claude
This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the painting 'Waterloo Bridge, London' by Claude Monet. Dutch police say seven paintings stolen from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam include one by Pablo Picasso, one by Henri Matisse, and two by Claude Monet. The heist, one of the largest in years in the Netherlands, occurred while the private Triton Foundation collection was being exhibited publicly as a group for the first time. (AP Photo/Police Rotterdam)

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Seven paintings by artists including Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet that are worth more than a hundred million dollars were stolen from a museum in Rotterdam in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The heist at the Kunsthal museum is one of the largest in years in the Netherlands, and is a stunning blow for the private Triton Foundation collection, which was being exhibited publicly as a group for the first time.

The collection was on display as part of celebrations surrounding Kunsthal's 20th anniversary.

Police spokeswoman Willemieke Romijn said investigators were reviewing videotapes of the theft, which took place around 3 a.m. local time, and calling for any witnesses to come forward. Police have yet to reveal how the heist took place.

CORRECTS SPELLING OF PAUL GAUGUIN’S NAME This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1898
CORRECTS SPELLING OF PAUL GAUGUIN'S NAME This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1898 painting 'Girl in Front of Open Window' by Paul Gauguin. Dutch police say seven paintings stolen from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam include one by Pablo Picasso, one by Henri Matisse, and two by Claude Monet. The heist, one of the largest in years in the Netherlands, occurred while the private Triton Foundation collection was being exhibited publicly as a group for the first time. (AP Photo/Police Rotterdam)

Indications are that the perpetrators of the crime knew which pieces they were after.

Chris Marinello, director of The Art Loss Register, which tracks stolen artworks, said it was clear some of the most valuable pieces in the collection were targeted.

"Those thieves got one hell of a haul," Marinello said.

Marinello said the items taken could even be worth "hundreds of millions of euros" - if sold legally at auction. However, he said that was now impossible, as the paintings have already been registered internationally as stolen.

The stolen paintings were Picasso's 1971 "Harlequin Head"; Monet's 1901 "Waterloo Bridge, London" and "Charing Cross Bridge, London"; Henri Matisse's 1919 "Reading Girl in White and Yellow"; Paul Gauguin's 1898 "Girl in Front of Open Window"; Meyer de Haan's "Self-Portrait," around 1890, and Lucian Freud's 2002 work "Woman with Eyes Closed."

This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1901 painting ’Charing Cross Bridge, London’
This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1901 painting 'Charing Cross Bridge, London' by Claude Monet. Dutch police say seven paintings stolen from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam include one by Pablo Picasso, one by Henri Matisse, and two by Claude Monet. The heist, one of the largest in years in the Netherlands, occurred while the private Triton Foundation collection was being exhibited publicly as a group for the first time. (AP Photo/Police Rotterdam)

Marinello said the thieves have limited options available, such as blackmailing the owners or the museum or the insurers. They could conceivably sell the paintings in the criminal market too, though any sale would likely be a small fraction of their potential auction value.

The Triton Foundation is a collection of avant-garde art put together by multimillionaire Willem Cordia, an investor and businessman, and his wife, Marijke Cordia-Van der Laan.

The Kunsthal museum is a display space that has no permanent collection of its own - the name means "art gallery" in Dutch.

The Cordia family collection includes works by more than 150 famed artists. Others whose work was on show include Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas and Andy Warhol.

The empty space where Henri Matisse’ painting "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune" was hanging, right, is seen at Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam,
The empty space where Henri Matisse' painting "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune" was hanging, right, is seen at Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday Oct. 16, 2012. Seven paintings by artists including Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet were stolen from a museum in Rotterdam in an early-hours heist, Dutch police said Tuesday. The theft at the Kunsthal museum is one of the largest in years in the Netherlands, and is a stunning blow for the private Triton Foundation collection, which was being exhibited publicly as a group for the first time. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) (Peter Dejong)

Curators of the Cordia family collection aim to have the works on display for the public, and pieces have been shown in the past.

The museum is closed Tuesday as the police continue with their investigation.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
Police guard the cordoned off perimeter as three markings, left, are seen on a door after fingerprints were taken by forensic experts at Kunsthal museum in
Police guard the cordoned off perimeter as three markings, left, are seen on a door after fingerprints were taken by forensic experts at Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, Tuesday Oct. 16, 2012. Several paintings have been stolen from a museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam that was exhibiting works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh. At least several paintings were stolen early Tuesday morning from the Kunsthal museum , but their names have not yet been released. They are believed to include at least one by Henri Matisse, the 1919 "Reading Girl." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) (Peter Dejong)