Seven priceless paintings by world-famous artists including Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse have been stolen from a museum in the Netherlands in a daring raid.

The works, worth millions of pounds, were on display in the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam and went missing in the early hours of Tuesday.

The stolen works 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' and Paul Gauguin’s 1898 'Girl in Front of Open Window'.

kunsthal

The heist left huge gaps on the museum's walls


The other two were Meyer de Haan’s ‘Self-Portrait,’ around 1890, and Lucian Freud’s 2002 work ‘Woman with Eyes Closed’, according to the Associated Press.

“There was a break-in during the night and a few paintings were taken that represent a considerable sum,” Rotterdam police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels told Sky News.

“A major investigation is under way and forensics are at the scene.”

The artwork was on display as part of the museum’s 20th anniversary and belongs to the private Triton Collection.

The attraction has been closed while forensic teams examine the scene and police study CCTV footage.

Experts said that it would be virtually impossible for the works to be sold on the open market.

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  • Forensic experts take samples of imprints at Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 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)

  • 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)

  • Police guards 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)

  • Police officers guard a cordoned off area at the rear side of the 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)

  • Police vehicles are seen 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)

  • 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)

  • 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 Gaugain. 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)

  • 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)

  • This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1971 painting 'Harlequin Head' by Pablo Picasso. 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)

  • This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1919 painting 'Reading Girl in White and Yellow' by Henri Matisse. 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)

  • This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 1890 painting 'Self-Portrait' by Meyer de Haan. 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)

  • This photo released by the police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, shows the 2002 painting 'Woman with Eyes Closed' by Lucian Freud. 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)

  • Forensic experts dust the inside of a back door for fingerprints 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)

  • Forensic experts dust the inside of a back door for fingerprints 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)

  • The empty space where Henri Matisse' painting "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune" was hanging, right, is seen next to a painting by Maurice Denis, center, and Pierre Bonnard, left, 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)

  • The empty space where Henri Matisse' painting "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune" was hanging 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)

  • A man pauses to look at the empty space where Henri Matisse' painting "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune" was hanging, right, next to a painting by Maurice Denis, left, 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. The collection was on display as part of celebrations surrounding Kunsthal's 20th anniversary. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

  • A man looks at the empty space where Henri Matisse' painting "La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune" was hanging, right, next to a painting by Maurice Denis, left, 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. The collection was on display as part of celebrations surrounding Kunsthal's 20th anniversary. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

  • NETHERLANDS-CRIME-ART-MUSEUM

    Police stands guard at the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum on October 16, 2012. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang, police said Ocotber 16, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NETHERLANDS-CRIME-ART-MUSEUM

    A white spot on the wall marks the spot of a stolen painting at the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum on October 16, 2012. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang, police said Ocotber 16, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NETHERLANDS-CRIME-ART-MUSEUM

    Police stands guard at the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum on October 16, 2012. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang, police said Ocotber 16, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NETHERLANDS-CRIME-ART-MUSEUM

    A investigator searches the Rotterdam Kunsthal museum break-in during the night on October 16, 2012. Several paintings of considerable value were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum where works by world-renowned 19th and 20th century artists including Picasso and Van Gogh hang, police said Ocotber 16, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)