March 30th, 2020 commemorated what would have been Vincent van Gogh’s 167th birthday.
On this same day, thieves stole van Gogh’s Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884) from the Singer Laren museum in Laren, the Netherlands.
Whether by coincidence or deliberate intention, the loss of the £5m painting is the only missing piece from the museum, hauntingly robbed on the painter’s birthday.
Given the museum’s current closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, thieves opted to smash through the front doors of the museum at around 3:15 am.
Museum director, Jan Rudolph de Lorm, announced he was “shocked and unbelievably annoyed that this has happened,” during a press conference broadcasted on Youtube.
As the painting had been on loan from the Groninger Museum, de Lorm commented:
“This is exactly what you don’t want as a museum that has a painting on loan.”
Part of the Mirror of the Soul exhibition, this work was one of more than 70 Dutch paintings, watercolors, and drawings from the 19th century.
The Groninger Museum, located in the northern Dutch city of Groningen stated, “We are very shocked by this news. The investigation is currently in full swing and no more can be said about it due to the police investigation.”
Van Gogh’s work depicted a vicarage garden that he recreated when he was staying with his parents in Nuenen.
After the painting was added to Interpol’s international list of stolen works of art, art robbery experts from the national criminal investigation department stepped in to help in the investigation.
De Lorm has since said,
“A beautiful and moving painting by one of our greatest painters, stolen from the community … This must come back as soon as possible, so that we can enjoy and be comforted by this beautiful art again… Art deserves to be seen and shared by us, the community.”
*partially sourced @ www.thegaurdian.com