Thieves stole a painting by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh in an overnight robbery on a museum. The museum closed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19.
Police and the museum broke the news on Monday, saying the Vincent van Gogh painting “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884” was stolen in the early hours of Monday. By early afternoon, all that could be seen from the outside of the museum was a large white panel covering the building’s glass front.
Museum General Director Evert van Os said the museum, which houses the collection of Americans William and Anna Singer, “angry, shocked, sad” at the robbery of the painting.
The Vincent van Gogh painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the northern Dutch city of Groningen. Currently, the value of art is unknown.
“I’m shocked and unbelievably annoyed that this has happened,” said Singer Laren museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm.
“This beautiful and moving painting by one of our greatest artists stolen – removed from the community,” he added. “It is very bad for the Groninger Museum, it is very bad for the Singer, but it is terrible for us all because art exists to be seen and shared by us, the community, to enjoy to draw inspiration from and to draw comfort from, especially in these difficult times.”
How did the thieves steal the van Gogh painting?
Police revealed the thief or group of thieves broke through a glass door to get into the museum. The break-in set off an alarm, which officers responded to the museum. But, by the time the police got there, the painting and who stole were gone.
A team of art theft experts is studying video footage, and police are questioning potential witnesses.
It is important to note that this is not the first time someone robbed the museum. In 2007, thieves stole seven works from its sculpture exhibit, including a bronze cast of “The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin. Authorities recovered the sculpture but with a missing leg.