Van Gogh’s stolen painting was returned to a Dutch museum

Van Gogh’s stolen painting was returned to a Dutch museum


In March, the painting of the young Vincent Van Gogh “Pastoral Garden in Nuenen in Spring” from 1884 will be returned to the exposition of the Dutch Art Museum in Groninger. It will be shown to the audience for the first time after the abduction in March 2020.

This was reported by ARTnews.

The painting has damage – a large white scratch at the bottom of the canvas. She appeared as a result of a robbery. The restorer of the painting in the Rotterdam Museum Marian de Visser told that this is serious damage and it “passes through all layers, varnish, paint, and then into the soil”.

All dust and dirt have been removed from the canvas, and possible restoration options are being explored. The painting will be available for public viewing from March 29 at the Groninger Museum in the Northern Netherlands.

“Pastor’s garden in Nuenen in spring”. Photo: The Guardian.

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Exactly 4 years ago, the painting was stolen by an unknown man, and during that time its whereabouts were unknown. Although, the suspect in her abduction, nicknamed “Nils M” and the possible customer, Peter Roy K., were serving prison terms.

At the end of last year, the landscape was found by an art detective Arthur Brandwho previously became famous for investigations related to Picasso’s Bust of a Woman and Oscar Wilde’s ring.

As the detective said, late last year he heard a knock on the door. When he opened it, the unknown man handed Brand a crumpled blue IKEA bag and then ran away. Inside, the detective found the Van Gogh canvas, and his colleague filmed the unpacking on camera, and then checked the originality of the painting.

The meeting with the unknown person was arranged. According to Arthur Brand, the picture was probably constantly being passed around in the criminal underground and no one wanted to put it up for sale. The cost of the work is estimated at 3 to 6 million euros, but this amount was not worth the possible risks for the seller.

The practice of stealing paintings in the world

The practice of stealing paintings in criminal circles is quite common. The underground sale of works of art is also common. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art alone has more than 1,000 exhibits linked to people suspected of illegal antiquities trafficking and art looting.

At least 1,109 items in the Met’s collection previously belonged to people who were accused or convicted of crimes including looting and trafficking. ICIJ and the non-profit organization Finance Uncovered discovered this during a review of the antiquities collection of one of the most famous museums. At least 1,109 items from the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection were previously owned by people who were accused or convicted of crimes, including looting and illegal trade. ICIJ and the non-profit organization Finance Uncovered discovered this during a review of the antiquities collection of one of the most famous museums.

Of these exhibits, less than half have detailed descriptions of how they left their country of origin. For example, of the more than 250 antiquities in the Met’s collection relating to Nepal and Kashmir, which were particularly hard hit by looting, only three had the appropriate documents.

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