Wednesday 21 April 2021

Man arrested in connection with stolen Van Gogh and Frans Hals works

Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer, by Frans Hals (c.1626)

Police have arrested a 58-year-old man from the town of Baarn, south of Amsterdam, in connection with the theft of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals.

The two masterpieces, worth millions of euros, were stolen last year and have not been seen since.

The Van Gogh was taken from the Singer Laren museum in March, the Frans Hals from the Museum Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden in Leerdam in August.

The arrest, made on Tuesday morning, follows a recent breakthrough in the case, police said, without going into details. Neither painting was recovered at the suspect’s home and the hunt for the missing works of art goes on.

The Frans Hals painting Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer (c. 1626) was stolen for the third time in its recent history when it was taken from the small private museum in August.

The Van Gogh work from 1884, titled The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring taken from the museum in March. It was on loan from the Groninger Museum.

In June photos of the painting, alongside a copy of the New York Times of May 30th, were sent to Dutch stolen art detective Arthur Brand, who said the work seems to have sustained only minor damage.

‘The photos have been put into circulation in criminal circles as a sign to potential buyers that it is available’, Brand said.

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