Dutch police have arrested a 58-year-old man on suspicion of stealing two work by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals from museums within the Netherlands final yr.
The person was held at his residence within the central city of Baarn over the thefts of Van Gogh’s The Parsonage Backyard at Nuenen in Spring and Hals’s Two Laughing Boys.
Police mentioned they’d not recovered both of the work. The Van Gogh is valued at as much as €6m (£5m).
“For months, intensive investigations into the theft of each work have been carried out below the management of the general public prosecution service,” they mentioned.
The Van Gogh portray was stolen from the Singer Laren Museum close to Amsterdam on 30 March whereas it was closed as a result of coronavirus restrictions. The theft occurred on what would have been the Nineteenth-century painter’s 167th birthday.
Two months later, the Dutch artwork detective Arthur Model obtained two “proof of life” images of the Van Gogh alongside a dated entrance web page of the New York Occasions newspaper.
Parsonage Backyard was painted comparatively early in Van Gogh’s profession, earlier than the prolific artist launched into his trademark post-impressionist works akin to Sunflowers and vivid self-portraits.
Two Laughing Boys by the Seventeenth-century Dutch grasp Hals was stolen in a housebreaking in August from the Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden Museum in Leerdam.
The portray, which incorporates a pair of laughing boys with a mug of beer, was beforehand stolen from the museum in 2011 and 1988. It was recovered after six months and three years respectively.
“Each work haven’t but resurfaced with this arrest. The search continues unabated,” the police mentioned. “This arrest is a vital step within the investigation.”
Model – referred to as the Indiana Jones of the artwork world for locating a number of misplaced work – hailed the information of the arrest. “One other big success for Dutch police,” he tweeted. “The plot thickens…”
Van Gogh’s works have been a frequent goal of crime. Two masterpieces went again on show on the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2004, two years in the past after they have been stolen.
The work – the 1882 View of the Sea at Scheveningen and the 1884-85 Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen – have been recovered by Italian investigators in September 2016 after they raided a house belonging to a mafia drug baron close to Naples.
Beforehand, three Van Goghs that have been stolen from the Noordbrabants Museum in 1990 resurfaced when a Dutch felony made a cope with prosecutors.
Hals was a recent of fellow masters Rembrandt and Vermeer in the course of the so-called Dutch golden age, a flowering of commerce, science and artwork within the Netherlands spanning the Seventeenth century.
He’s greatest recognized for works together with The Laughing Cavalier, which hangs within the Wallace Assortment in London, and The Gypsy Woman, housed within the Louvre, Paris.