A painting created by Vincent van Gogh has been stolen from a Dutch museum as part of an overnight raid which, coincidentally, took place on the post-impressionist painter’s birth date.
Van Gogh’s work ‘Parsonage Garden at Neunen in Spring’ which is said to be worth as much as £5million, was stolen from the Singer Laren museum, in Laren, at 3.15am on Sunday morning. The museum, like many around the world, is already facing financial difficulty after it was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jan Rudolph de Lorm, the director of the museum, held a press conference on YouTube where he claimed to be “incredibly pissed off” by the theft. Thieves are said to have broken through the front glass door of the museum and targeted the Van Gogh which was on loan from the Groninger Museum.
“This is exactly what you don’t want as a museum that has a painting on loan,” de Lorm said. “A beautiful and moving painting by one of our greatest painters, stolen from the community. This must come back as soon as possible, so that we can enjoy and be comforted by this beautiful art again… Art deserves to be seen and shared by us, the community.”
He added: “It is horrible for all of us, because art is there to be seen and shared by all of us, for society as a whole, to bring enjoyment, to bring inspiration, and also to bring comfort, especially in this difficult time.”
In reaction, The Groninger Museum reacted with the following statement: “The work from 1884, oil on paper on panel is the only painting by Van Gogh in the collection of the Groninger Museum.
“We are very shocked by this news. The investigation is currently in full swing and no more can be said about it due to the police investigation.”