The curious operation with which a stolen Van Gogh painting was recovered | The USA Print

The curious operation with which a stolen Van Gogh painting was recovered | The USA Print

A Van Gogh painting stolen from a Dutch museum in March 2020 is safe again after a three and a half year search to recover it.

Dutch art detective Arthur Brand said a man showed up at his door and handed him the 139-year-old painting in a pillow and an Ikea bag.

“I did this in full coordination with the Dutch police and We knew this guy wasn’t involved in the robbery.“, said.

In 2021, a career criminal was sentenced to eight years in prison for this incident.

But by then the painting, valued at several million euros, had already changed hands.

Picture “The rectory garden in Nuenen in spring” (The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring) was stolen in the Dutch village of Laren, southeast of Amsterdam.

The thief broke two glass doors at the Singer museum with a hammer, at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.

The work had been loaned by a museum in the northeastern city of Groningen, which called its recovery “wonderful news.”

The French-born thief, Nils M., 59, who lived near Laren, was convicted of stealing the work, as well as a painting by Frans Hals a few months later from a museum in Leerdam, near Utrecht. His DNA was found at both crime scenes.

According to communications intercepted by police, Van Gogh’s 1884 painting, also known as “Spring Garden,” It had been acquired by a criminal group that intended to use it in exchange for shorter prison sentences.

Vincent Van Gogh painted the painting in May 1884 when he lived with his parents in Nuenen. (Photo: GRONGINGER MUSEUM/REUTERS)

Brand, who has collaborated with Dutch police in searching for the work, told the BBC that they knew it would be passed from one criminal group to another, as no one would want to touch it.

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In June 2020, Brand received photos of the Van Gogh as “proof of life.”

Finally, a man from Amsterdam contacted him and He offered to return it in exchange for complete confidentiality.partly because it had become a pain to keep storing the painting.

“I was at a birthday party and he was waiting for me under a tree and he explained to me why he wanted to do this,” Brand told the BBC.

The painting was delivered to his home on Monday afternoon, while the director of the Groninger Museum waited around the corner at a bar to authenticate the work.

The work was protected by a pillow covered in bloodhe added, since the man had cut his finger while recovering it.

A spokesman for the art crimes unit of the Dutch police has confirmed that the recovered painting is authentic and Andreas Blühm, director of the Groninger Museum, expressed his satisfaction at its return.

“There are scratches… but it is painted on paper and glued on board, so it is stable. We can restore it and it will be fine,” he told the program Newshour from the BBC.

The “Spring Garden” is currently in the hands of the Van Gogh Museum, whose experts will help restore it, and it could be weeks or months before it goes back on display.

The director said that he would not lend him any more, as he is too traumatized.

Keep reading:

* Da Vinci painting breaks historical record at auction
* They claim to have found an iPhone in a painting from 1670
* He conned his mother by telling her that her painting collection was “cursed”; she stole more than $140 million from him

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