The Hague: Dutch police have arrested a suspect in the theft last year of two valuable paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals from different museums, a spokeswoman said. The paintings, however, remain missing.
In a statement posted on Twitter, police spokeswoman Maren Wonder said a 58-year-old man was arrested at his home in the Dutch town of Baarn, 40 kilometres south-east of Amsterdam on Tuesday. His identity was not released, in line with Dutch privacy guidelines.
Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (detail).Credit:AP
The Van Gogh painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands when a burglar smashed through reinforced glass doors to get into the Singer Laren, which is less than 10 kilometres from the town where the suspect was arrested.
Singer Laren spokeswoman Esther Driessen welcomed the arrest and said she hopes it leads detectives to the painting.
“The most important thing is that the painting returns as quickly as possible to the Groninger Museum, where it belongs,” she said.
The Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden had no comment on the arrest. Police said last year that the same Hals painting was stolen in 1988 together with a work by Jacob van Ruisdael. Both were recovered three years later.
In 2011, the two paintings were again stolen and recovered six months later.
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