Stolen paintings by Van Gogh return to the Netherlands

Monday, February 20, 2017
Stolen paintings by Van Gogh return to the Netherlands

From 21 March, two recovered paintings by Van Gogh Seascape at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen will resume their place in the Van Gogh museum’s permanent collection. The works are in reasonably good condition and will be displayed in the state in which they were found in Castellammare di Stabia.

Stolen paintings by Van Gogh return to the Netherlands

Earlier this year, the two recovered paintings by Van Gogh were officially unveiled by the directors of the Van Gogh Museum and the Museo di Capodimonte, Axel Rüger and Sylvain Bellenger. As a thank you to the Italian authorities for their efforts and commitment, the two Van Goghs were first showcased in Naples, in the region where the stolen canvases were recovered. After fourteen years, these works have finally returned to public view.

Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum: ‘It is really a miracle that the paintings, which since 2002 were thought to have vanished from the face of the earth, have been found. The efforts of so many people have made the impossible possible. The fact that these two Van Goghs are again on public display after fourteen years calls for a celebration worthy of the occasion. As a ‘grazie mille’ for the efforts of all those involved in Italy in the recovery of the artworks, they are first being shown to the public in the region where they were found. Afterwards, our Van Goghs will return home, where a festive welcome awaits them and our visitors can once more admire them in the Van Gogh Museum. I cannot tell you how happy I am!’

The paintings will be on display at the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples until 26 February, after which they will come back to the Van Gogh Museum. This represents the return to Amsterdam of important pieces of the Dutch cultural heritage. From 21 March, Van Gogh’s Seascape at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen will resume their place in the museum’s permanent collection. The works are in reasonably good condition and will be displayed in the state in which they were found in Castellammare di Stabia.

The festive unveiling in Naples of Van Gogh’s 'Seascape at Scheveningen' and 'Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen' by the museum directors and representatives of the Italian and Dutch authorities. ©photo: Jan-Kees Steenman.

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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