Wednesday, June 29, 2022

WATCH: Art thief steals £2.6mn Van Gogh painting from museum

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An unidentified art thief broke into a Dutch museum with the help sledgehammer and stole a prized Vincent van Gogh painting worth £2.6 million.

In the video which went viral on social media, the art thief can be seen entering the Singer Laren museum near Amsterdam through the gift shop after smashing his way through the glass doors in the early hours of March 30.

He then breaks another door with his sledgehammer, advancing further into the gallery and leaving more shattered glass behind him.

The crook is later seen making his escape from the museum with a painting under his right arm. The painting by the Dutch master, entitled The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884, remains missing, Mail Online reported.

The museum’s managing director Evert van Os defended the Singer Laren’s security, which he said had been approved by an insurance firm.

The burglar broke through a number of doors and several layers of security that had been approved by security experts,’ Van Os said. ‘The footage released does not therefore allow any conclusions to be drawn as to the quality of security at Singer Laren.’

Police said that members of the public had come forward with 56 new tips since the footage was broadcast on Dutch TV.

The museum was shut down on March 12 because of the pandemic, along with the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The director of the Groninger Museum said the burglary was ‘the theft of a work that belongs to all of us’.

The 1884 painting shows a rectory garden in the town of Nuenen, where van Gogh was living at the time.  It shows a person standing in a garden surrounded by trees, with a church building in the background.

The artwork dates to a period when Van Gogh was living with his parents at the rectory after his father was appointed pastor of the rural parish.

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