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Suspect arrested for stealing Van Gogh and Hals paintings


Written by Rosanne RoobeekAmy Woodyatt, CNN

A man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing two paintings, one by Vincent van Gogh and the other by Frans Hals, from museums in the Netherlands, police said.

Van Gogh’s “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring” was taken from The Singer Laren Museum in the town of Laren, just outside Amsterdam, in March last year during a raid on a night. The museum was closed at the time due to coronavirus restrictions.

The painting – created by the Dutch master in 1884 – was on loan from another artistic institution, the Groninger Museum in the city of Groningen.

In August, “Two Laughing Boys” by Dutch golden age master Hals was stolen from the Hofje van mevrouw Aerden in Leerdam, police said.

Frans Hals’ “Two Laughing Boys” has already been stolen twice, once at the Leerdam Museum in May 2011. Credit: Public domain / Creative Commons

The painting, which depicts two laughing boys with a mug of beer, has been valued at 15 million euros ($ 17.7 million) by an expert, according to the Reuters news agency. The painting has already been stolen twice – once in the same museum in 2011, before being recovered by the police.

Police said on Tuesday that a 58-year-old man from Baarn was arrested at his home on suspicion of stealing the paintings.

A search continues for the two works of art, which are still missing, police said.

“The presbytery garden in Nuenen in the spring” was created in the town of Nuenen, where Van Gogh stayed with his parents between 1883 and 1885.

It depicts the rectory garden in which they lived and where his father was pastor, and also shows the ruins of an old church which featured in a number of other works by Van Gogh of the time.

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