• Short Summary

    29-year-old, Old Etonian art dealer from London, Mr. R.W.A. Cook, was filmed Aug 27 at?

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    Initials BA/S/BA

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: 29-year-old, Old Etonian art dealer from London, Mr. R.W.A. Cook, was filmed Aug 27 at his flat in Sloe street, Amsterdam, where he spoke to television representatives, but refused to give a filmed interview. At the front of the flat is a window said to have broken during the alleged art robbery.

    Aug 27 Cook said he had made an insurance claim for just over GBP50,000 for the four paintings, which include a Rubens and a Renoir.

    Police revealed that the paintings could not legally have been sold in Holland, as the British Board of Trade export license for them specified they were going to Holland for exhibition and return to Britain. Cook admitted he told the Board of Trade the paintings were being exported on an exhibition and return basis, and that he told Dutch police he had been trying to sell them in Holland.

    If he had found a buyer he would have applied for another license from the Board of Trade, he said. He also stated he had at last identified the customs official who admitted him to Holland with the paintings, and the official had identified him from a photograph.

    Police are investigating to see if the customs official acted legally in admitting Cook to Holland, and they continue to retain Cook's passport.

    The Board of Trade license for the paintings was issued to Cook and to Miss Catherine Dent Brocklehurst, who Aug 26 left Britain for a continental holiday, after helping British police with enquiries. Cook's two friends who have been with him in Holland, Mr. Scaramanga and Mrs. Sykes, have now left Amsterdam to holiday in Hamburg, after having their passports returned by police.

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