Loaned Van Gogh stolen from Dutch museum

Published by Alice Jaspars on March 31st 2020, 11:11am

Police are investigating the theft of an “incredibly valuable” Van Gogh from the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands.

“Parsonage garden in Nuenen, Spring”, painted by Van Gogh in 1884, was stolen from the Singer Laren museum in the early hours of Monday morning.

Director of the museum Jan Rudolph de Lorm, said that the theft was not only a loss for his museum, but also for the Gronginger Museum, who were loaning the piece for a special exhibition.

De Lorm said that: “art is there to be seen and to be shared, to inspire and comfort, especially in these difficult times.”

He continued: “I am shocked and incredibly pissed off that this has happened. This is a beautiful, moving painting by one of our greatest painters that has been stolen from the community.”

Managing director of the Singer Laren museum, Evert van Os, said that “lessons would be learned” following the break in, however, that coronavirus had resulted in exceptional circumstances regarding the museum’s security, which had been approved by insurers.

In 2007, seven bronze statues were stolen from the museum, including a cast of Rodin’s The Thinker, which was found heavily vandalised two days later. The piece has now been restored, and the robbers in question were sentenced to two years in prison in 2010.

Arthur Brand, an independent art crime investigator said that the recent robbery was “a well-prepared hit and run job.”

He continued: “In the 90s in the Netherlands two stolen Van Goghs ended up in the hands of a big crime lord who used them to negotiate with the public prosecutor. In 2002, two Van Goghs were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum and ended up in the hands of the Mafia, who used them as a bargaining chip.

“In 99 per cent of cases, these stolen pieces don’t end up in private collections. I think this is a copycat."

Andreas Blühm, director of the Groninger Museum, said that he would continue to trust the Singer Laren in spite of the theft. He concluded that: “we have all been robbed, and it must be brought back as soon as possible."

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Authored By

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 31st 2020, 11:11am

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