Police said at least four armed men rushed into Paris's Mar- mottan Museum during visiting hours Sunday and stole nine major Impressionist paintings, including five by Claude Monet and two by Pierre Auguste Renoir. Museum officials said the thieves pulled paintings from the walls, ran outside to a waiting gray car, put the paintings in the trunk, and fled.
The value of the stolen artworks was not immediately known.
Museum officials said that the value of ``Impressions Rising Sun,'' one of the stolen paintings by Claude Monet, was of``inestimable'' value.
Officials said the other stolen Monet paintings were ``Camille Monet and Her Cousin on the Beach at Trouville,'' ``Portrait of Jean Monet,'' ``Portrait of Poly, Fisherman of Belle-Isle'' and ``Field of Tulips in Holland.''
The other stolen works were Auguste Renoir's ``Bathers'' and ``Portrait of Monet,'' Berthe Morisot's ``Young Girl at the Ball,'' and Naruse's ``Portrait of Monet.''