One of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings has been stolen from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands exactly 167 years from the day of the artist’s birth.
The painting, Parsonage Garden at Neunen in Spring, one of the lesser known works from the world renowned one-eared Dutch artist, was taken at 3:15am by well-prepared art thieves who smashed the front glass door of the museum that is temporarily closed due to coronavirus.
Van Gogh’s landscape oil-painting, Parsonage Garden at Neunen in Spring, has been stolen from a locked down museum in the Netherlands.
It appears that in the current health crisis, the only professionals not working from home are healthcare workers, deliveroo drivers, and art burglars. Police arrived at the scene just minutes after the burglar-alarm was activated, but the organised bandits had already fled the crime scene with the oil painting in-tow.
During a press conference, the outraged museum’s director, Jan Rudolph de Lorm, exclaims that he is “shocked and unbelievably pissed off” – and can you blame him? Parsonage Garden at Neunen in Spring has an estimated value of $10m, a hard hit for any museum but even more so as the painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum.
The date of the crime is suspicious in itself and has many questioning the motive of the robbers. Is it a coincidence that the painting was stolen on the exact date of the post-impressionist artist’s birthday? Is this a symbolic “fuck you” to the art industry for profiting so greatly off a masterpiece that bought Van Gogh no fame in his lifetime? Or are these simply opportunist thieves using the coronavirus lockdown laws for their own financial gain?
Either way, it’s a great tragedy to the art world and art lovers and the dutch haven’t had it easy this past month. In the words of the director; “Art is there to be seen, to be enjoyed, to inspire and to bring solace, particularly in these troubled times in which we find ourselves.”