Sir Ben Kingsley lookalike steals fur coat from exclusive Danish boutique

A fur coat boutique on Copenhagen’s upmarket Strandvejen fell victim on Thursday to a thief bearing a resemblance to Shakespearian actor Sir Ben Kingsley.

Sir Ben Kingsley lookalike steals fur coat from exclusive Danish boutique
Sir Ben Kingsley: not a suspect in the theft of two fur coats in Copenhagen. File photo: Hannah Mckay/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The boutique, Rohrmann, was visited by the Kingsley-lookalike and a female accomplice on Thursday morning, North Zealand Police confirmed. The store is located in Hellerup, an affluent outlying district of Greater Copenhagen.

The pair tried on scarves and the man attempted to haggle over the price of a fur coat before the two succeeded in leaving the store with two coats which hadn’t been paid for.

In addition to the Kingsley comparison, the man is also described as 50-55 years old and of slim build. He is not Danish and has dark brown hair, according to the description.

How that description fits with the comparison to the legendary actor, who is 75 years old and bald, is unclear.

Additionally, the man was described as wearing a Paisley-patterned scarf. He spoke English with an “indefinable” accent.

The woman is described as between 45-50, Eastern European, 170-175cm tall and with dark hair tied in a bun.

Kingsley, who was awarded an Oscar in 1982 for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi, is not considered a suspect in the theft, North Zealand Police have confirmed.

READ ALSO: Stolen 'world's most expensive' vodka bottle found empty at Danish building site

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Spanish banker gets jail term for trying to smuggle Picasso masterpiece out of Spain on yacht

A Spanish court has sentenced a former top banker to 18 months in jail for trying to smuggle a Picasso painting deemed a national treasure out of the country on a sailing yacht.

Spanish banker gets jail term for trying to smuggle Picasso masterpiece out of Spain on yacht
Head of a Young Woman by Pablo Picasso Photo: AFP

The court also fined ex-Bankinter head Jaime Botín €52.4 million ($58.4 million), according to the Madrid court ruling issued on January 14th which was made public on Thursday.   

It awarded ownership of the work, “Head of a Young Girl”, to the Spanish state.

Botin, 83, is unlikely to go to prison as in Spain first offenders for non-violent crimes are usually spared jail time for sentences of less than two years.   

French customs seized the work, which is estimated to be worth €26 million, in July 2015 on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, halting what they said was an attempt by Botin to export it to Switzerland to sell it.

His lawyers argued at the time that he was sending it for storage in a vault in Geneva but the court found him guilty of “smuggling cultural goods” for removing the painting “from national territory without a permit”.

Botin, whose family are one of the founders of the Santander banking group, had been trying since 2012 to obtain authorisation to export the painting.   

However Spain's culture ministry refused the request because there was “no similar work on Spanish territory” from the same period in Picasso's life.    

In 2015, a top Spanish court sided with the authorities and declared the work of art “unexportable” on the grounds that it was of “cultural interest”.    

Picasso painted it during his pre-Cubist phase in Gosol, Catalonia, in 1906. It was bought by Botin in London in 1977.

Botin's lawyers had argued that the work should not be subjected to an export ban since it was acquired in Britain and was on board a British-flagged vessel when it was seized.

When customs officials boarded the yacht, its captain only presented two documents — one of which was the court ruling ordering that the painting be kept in Spain.

The painting is currently stored at the Reina Sofia modern art museum in Madrid, which houses Picasso's large anti-war masterpiece “Guernica”.

READ MORE: Banking family's Picasso seized on Corsica boat