Home / Funny / Viral / Famous Van Gogh Painting Stolen From Netherlands Museum Returned After 3 Years


On the very same day as the famous artist, Van Gogh's birthday, March 30, 2020, someone with very sticky fingers decided to steal one of his paintings from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands. An early masterpiece entitled "Spring Garden, Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring'' was on loan from the Groningen Museum. At the time of the robbery, Singer was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the loss of a Van Gogh painting shocked the art world. However, after years of searching and negotiations, the artwork was finally returned hidden in an oversized IKEA shopping bag.

To track down Spring His Garden, Dutch police teamed up with world-famous art detective Arthur Brand. Dutch investigators have previously helped recover stolen paintings by Tamara de Lempicka, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. In the case where Van Gogh's work went missing, the perpetrator of the 2020 robbery was arrested the following year in April 2021, but he did not have Van Gogh's work with him. Authorities quickly concluded that the man, identified as Nils M., was working under orders from Dutch shipping magnate Peter Roy K. to steal the Van Gogh as leverage. Valuable works of art such as ``Spring Garden'' are often used in criminal underworld negotiations. However, the thieves did not anticipate that the painting's fame would make its use nearly impossible, and it remained hidden far from the museum.

"We knew this painting would be passed down from hand to hand in the criminal world, but no one would actually touch it," Brando explains. "You could get into trouble. So it was a little bit cursed." After a while, the famous detective realized that he knew the location of Van Gogh's painting and wanted to return it, but not in any way. I was contacted by someone I did not want to be involved with. Negotiations took time, but on September 12, 2023, the priceless piece, estimated to be worth between $3 million and $4 million, was delivered to the Amsterdam brand in a blue IKEA bag. It was delivered to my home. In an official statement, the Groningen Museum, which owns the Spring Garden, said: "The Groningen Museum is very happy and relieved that the work has been returned." It is currently carefully stored at the Van Gogh Museum. I am very grateful for the hospitality of my colleagues in Amsterdam. On behalf of all our employees, all residents and visitors to Groningen, we are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this positive result. Arthur Brand played an important role in this case, which the museum values ​​very highly. ” 

Now that the painting is in safe hands, it will undergo a comprehensive inspection by a conservator, followed by a long-term restoration. It is expected to be issued within a few months, depending on the situation.

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