A stolen painting found three and a half years later. A painting by Vincent Van Gogh that was stolen from a museum in the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown has been found by a Dutch art detective, law enforcement confirmed Tuesday.
“Arthur Brand, in cooperation with the Dutch police, solved this problem,” Richard Bronswijk of the Dutch police's art crime unit told AFP. “It’s definitely the real thing, there’s no doubt about it,” he added of the painting.
The detective took possession of the missing painting, The Garden of the Rectory of Nuenen in the Spring of 1884, on Monday at his home in Amsterdam. The work, whose value is estimated between €3 and €6 million, was stolen from the Singer Laren museum on March 30, 2020, during a heist that made headlines around the world.
Arthur Brand, nicknamed "the Indiana Jones of the art world" for tracking down a series of high-profile missing works, said his and Dutch police's frequent calls for return finally bore fruit when a man, whose identity was withheld for his own safety, handed the detective the painting in a blue Ikea bag, covered in bubble wrap and tucked into a pillowcase .
A video clip provided by the detective showed him unwrapping the painting in his living room, stunned by the discovery. “Confirming that this was indeed the stolen Van Gogh was one of the greatest moments of my life,” Arthur Brand told AFP.