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Vincent van Gogh, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, 1884. Photo: Wikipedia.
Vincent van Gogh, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, 1884. Photo: Wikipedia.

Dutch Police Seek Public’s Help with Tracking Down van Gogh Thief

The Dutch police are seeking the public’s help with identifying a thief who stole a Vincent van Gogh painting from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands in the early morning hours on March 30. The authorities provided a crime-busting show with segments of the institution’s security footage that captures the burglar arriving on a motorbike and smashing his way through reinforced doors to reach the artwork.

Titled The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, 1884, the painting, an early work by the Post-Impressionist master that was on loan from the Groninger Museum, was the only thing missing from the building. The heist, which occurred on van Gogh’s 167th birthday, took place during a trying time for museums that are struggling due to revenue losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the crime show aired the footage, police have confirmed that they have received fifty-six new tips. Officials are also urging anyone who visited the museum in the days leading up to the theft to share any photos or videos taken within the gallery where the painting was displayed and are asking museumgoers to speak up if they recall anyone acting suspiciously.

After the work was taken, Jan Rudolph de Lorm, director of the Singer Laren Museum, told the New York Times: “I feel enormous anger and sadness. Because especially in these dark days that we are in, I feel so strongly that art is here to comfort us, to inspire us and to heal us.”