Curious Case: Van Gogh’s Masterpiece Goes Missing From Dutch Museum Amid Lockdown

by Suchismita Pal
Curious Case: Van Gogh’s Masterpiece Goes Missing From Dutch Museum Amid Lockdown

One of the most spectacular artworks by the Dutch maestro Vincent Van Gogh went missing from the Singer Laren Museum near Amsterdam recently. The theft was a smash-and-grab act, that happened in the wee hours of the night, at around 3:15 A.M. The authorities had shut down the museum gates in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and the burglars snatched this opportunity to break open into the museum interiors and vanish away with the masterpiece. The estimated value of the painting is between a whopping €1 million to €6 million.

How Did It Happen?

The painting ‘The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884’, depicts a view of the lawn of Nuenen’s Dutch Reformist Church. It had been on loan to the Laren Museum and permanently belongs to the Groninger Museum of Netherlands. The breaking of the front glass door by the thieves had triggered the burglar alarm. By the time the security personnel reached, they were already gone.

Van Gogh
Picture Credits: The Independent

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Not The First High-Profile Theft

The Singer Laren Museum has about three thousand collected artworks. It also includes paintings by Piet Mondriaan and Jan Toorop. This is not the first time that a theft has taken place in the museum. In 2007, thieves had stolen seven prized works from its sculpture garden. ‘The Thinker’ by Auguste Rodin was the most prominent among them. The figurine was recovered a few days later, with a missing leg.

Van Gogh
Picture Credits:

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Art theft and forensics experts are thoroughly investigating the video footage and also asking the locals about anybody they have noticed approaching the museum. Speaking about the incident, the museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm has stated in a news conference that he is ‘shocked and unbelievably pissed off’. Andreas Blühm, the director of Groninger Museum has assured that the team will fight ‘tooth and nail‘ and get back the stolen artwork ‘as soon as possible’.