Art

Van Gogh painting stolen in overnight raid

Missing art: Vincent van Gogh’s Parsonage Garden at Neunen in Spring.

Missing art: Vincent van Gogh’s Parsonage Garden at Neunen in Spring.  

Thieves smashed a glass door to get into the museum in the Netherlands

A painting by Dutch master Vincent van Gogh was stolen in an overnight smash-and-grab raid on a museum that was closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), police and the museum said on Monday.

The painting has an estimated value of between €1 million to €6 million.

The Singer Laren Museum, based at Laren in the Netherlands, said that The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884 by the Dutch master was stolen in the early hours of Monday.

Also Read | Coronavirus India lockdown day 6 live updates

By early afternoon, all that could be seen from the outside of the museum was a large white panel covering a door in the building’s glass facade.

Museum General Director Evert van Os said the institution that houses the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer is “angry, shocked, sad” at the theft of the painting. The value of the work, which was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the northern Dutch city of Groningen, was not immediately known. Police are investigating the theft.

“I’m shocked and unbelievably annoyed that this has happened,” said Singer Laren museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm. “This beautiful and moving painting by one of our greatest artists stolen - removed from the community,” he added.

“It is very bad for the Groninger Museum, it is very bad for the Singer, but it is terrible for us all because art exists to be seen and shared by us, the community, to enjoy to draw inspiration from and to draw comfort from, especially in these difficult times.”

Police said in a statement that the thief or thieves smashed a glass door to get into the museum. That set off an alarm that sent officers rushing to the museum but by the time they got there the painting and whoever stole it was gone.

A team including forensics and art theft experts was studying video footage and questioning neighbours.

Before the closure, the museum was hosting an exhibition titled Mirror of the Soul” with works by artists ranging from Jan Toorop to Piet Mondrian, in cooperation with Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

The Singer Laren’s collection has a focus on modernism such as neo-impressionism, pointillism, expressionism and cubism.

It is not the first high profile theft from the museum. In 2007, thieves stole seven works from its sculpture garden, including a bronze cast of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. The famous sculpture was recovered a few days later, missing a leg.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 29, 2020 4:05:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/van-gogh-painting-stolen-in-overnight-raid/article31211064.ece

Next Story