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Stolen €6m Van Gogh painting recovered by private detective after holder brands piece ‘a massive headache’

A stolen Van Gogh painting has been recovered by a private detective after its holder declared the work “a massive headache” to keep in their possession




The stolen work has been recovered after a gang failed to use the work as a bargaining chip to reduce the sentence of a man involved in large scale drug smuggling   Credit: Arthur Brand/AFP

A stolen Van Gogh painting has been recovered in the Netherlands, just over three years after it was taken in a smash-and-grab raid at the Singer museum in Laren, where it was on loan.

CalledThe Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring the work was painted in 1884 and is now back in the hands of the Groninger Museum. Thought to be worth as much as €6m (US$6.4m, £5.1m) it was handed over to a private detective after the person holding it declared the work “a massive headache” because it could not be used as a bargaining chip.

59-year-old Nils M had already been convicted of the theft in 2021 and sentenced to an eight-year prison term after his DNA was found at two crime scenes. He was also convicted of stealing a Frans Hals painting a few months later.

According to reports, a crime group was intending to use the painting’s return to try and reduce the sentence of a man identified by Dutch media as Peter Roy K. The man was behind bars for a separate case related to the large-scale import and export of cocaine.

Working in collaboration with police, Dutch private art detective Arthur Brand negotiated the painting’s return, after he was approached by a man in Amsterdam who offered to return it in exchange for complete confidentiality.

The painting was handed over in a pillowcase and an IKEA bag, with the man returning the work reportedly not involved in the original crime.

A spokesman for the Dutch police arts crime unit confirmed that the recovered painting is authentic.

“Arthur Brand, in cooperation with the Dutch police, has solved this matter,” said Richard Bronswijk, of the Dutch police arts crime unit, speaking to AFP. “This is definitely the real one, there’s no doubt about it.”

The work is from early on in the career of Van Gogh, before the artist focussed on his signature post-impressionist paintings.

“In recent years I began to wonder: will I still be around to see it return?” said Andreas Blühm, head of the Groninger museum.

“I saw immediately it was genuine. It's slightly damaged but it can be repaired.”


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Stolen €6m Van Gogh painting recovered by private detective after holder brands piece ‘a massive headache’ | Planet Attractions
news

Stolen €6m Van Gogh painting recovered by private detective after holder brands piece ‘a massive headache’

A stolen Van Gogh painting has been recovered by a private detective after its holder declared the work “a massive headache” to keep in their possession




The stolen work has been recovered after a gang failed to use the work as a bargaining chip to reduce the sentence of a man involved in large scale drug smuggling   Credit: Arthur Brand/AFP

A stolen Van Gogh painting has been recovered in the Netherlands, just over three years after it was taken in a smash-and-grab raid at the Singer museum in Laren, where it was on loan.

CalledThe Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring the work was painted in 1884 and is now back in the hands of the Groninger Museum. Thought to be worth as much as €6m (US$6.4m, £5.1m) it was handed over to a private detective after the person holding it declared the work “a massive headache” because it could not be used as a bargaining chip.

59-year-old Nils M had already been convicted of the theft in 2021 and sentenced to an eight-year prison term after his DNA was found at two crime scenes. He was also convicted of stealing a Frans Hals painting a few months later.

According to reports, a crime group was intending to use the painting’s return to try and reduce the sentence of a man identified by Dutch media as Peter Roy K. The man was behind bars for a separate case related to the large-scale import and export of cocaine.

Working in collaboration with police, Dutch private art detective Arthur Brand negotiated the painting’s return, after he was approached by a man in Amsterdam who offered to return it in exchange for complete confidentiality.

The painting was handed over in a pillowcase and an IKEA bag, with the man returning the work reportedly not involved in the original crime.

A spokesman for the Dutch police arts crime unit confirmed that the recovered painting is authentic.

“Arthur Brand, in cooperation with the Dutch police, has solved this matter,” said Richard Bronswijk, of the Dutch police arts crime unit, speaking to AFP. “This is definitely the real one, there’s no doubt about it.”

The work is from early on in the career of Van Gogh, before the artist focussed on his signature post-impressionist paintings.

“In recent years I began to wonder: will I still be around to see it return?” said Andreas Blühm, head of the Groninger museum.

“I saw immediately it was genuine. It's slightly damaged but it can be repaired.”


 



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