Dutch police have arrested a man who is believed to be connected to the theft of two paintings amounting to over £18 million. The 58-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday morning at his home in the central town of Baarn. Whilst it has not been revealed how the man was caught, it is said to be an important step in the investigation. The home of the man was searched, but both paintings still remain uncovered.
Van Gogh’s ‘The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring’ was stolen from the Singer Laren Museum near Amsterdam. The painting valued at around £5 million was taken in the early hours of the morning on March 30th, 2020, at a time when the museum was locked down due to COVID-19 restrictions. The thief was caught on CCTV footage arriving on a motorbike before continuing to use a sledgehammer to break the reinforced glass front door and fleeing with the painting.
Hals’s ‘Two Laughing Boys,’ valued at around £13.4 million, was stolen from the Hofje Van Mevrouw can Aerden Museum in Leerdam in August of last year. Thieves were caught on security footage, forcing the back door of the building open. They set off an alarm but by the time that officers arrived at 3.30am, there was no sign of the perpetrators.
The man arrested is believed to have been involved in both robberies and his arrest comes after intense research has been conducted into the robberies. It is one of the longest continuing cases in relation to museum robberies as the trail has often gone cold by this point, but it seems that this case is only just getting started with more results hopefully to come, along with the recovery of both paintings.
Written by Leah Langley
Edited by Sophie Alexander – Entertainment Editor
Header Image by Christos Alamaniotis – Head of Design