Two stolen Van Gogh paintings recovered after 14 years: Museum

September 30, 2016
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Vang Gogh Museum in Amsterdam celebrates the return of two paintings by the master. After 14 years of unsuccessful searching (two paintings were stolen in 2002), they returned to the Netherlands. The Director of the Van Gogh Museum and all the employees are sincerely grateful to the Italian police, who found a stolen Van Gogh paintings and handed over them to the Museum.

Van Gogh Museum’s Director held a press conference on Friday. The reason for such a media event is really important: Chief Public Prosecutor of the district of Naples announced that two missing paintings by Van Gogh have been recovered. In 2002, from the Museum in Amsterdam were stolen ‘Seascape at Scheveningen’ (1882) and ‘Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen’ (1884/85).

The expert inspected the authenticity and provenance of the works and drew a firm conclusion: ‘they are the real paintings!’ Prior to handing over found paintings, the Italian Public Prosecutions Department (IPPD) requested this art expertise. The stolen paintings were recovered during a massive, continuing investigation commissioned by the IPPD, conducted by a specialized Guardia di Finanza team, the team investigating organized crime.

Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum, present at the press conference in Naples, states:

‘We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Italian Public Prosecutions Department, the members of the Guardia di Finanza investigation team, the Italian police, the Dutch Public Prosecutions Department, the liaison officers of the Dutch Public Prosecutions Department in Rome and everyone else involved. The paintings have been found!’.

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