Dutch police are investigating a smash-and-grab burglary of art by Vincent van Gogh from the Singer Laren museum in The Netherlands over the weekend. The stolen painting has a limited digital footprint, but you can view it here. "It is very bad for the Groninger Museum, it is very bad for the Singer, but it is awful for us all", Jan Rudolph de Lorm, director of the Singer Laren, said at a press conference yesterday. "This is a huge blow". "Art is there to be enjoyed and to comfort people, especially during this hard time", he said.
His anger is understandable.
The thief broke a glass door to get into the museum, police said.
The Singer Laren will be closed until at least June 1 in order to minimize the risk of visitors spreading the novel coronavirus, although the museum's director continues to post videos online that discuss the museum's best known paintings in order to keep the public engaged. Read the room, Ocean's 8 wannabes: This is not the time!
The Singer Laren's general manager Evert van Os said the museum's security measures had gone "entirely according to protocol".
In a statement, a police spokesman for the Gooi and Vecht region said art robbery experts from the national criminal investigation department would help in the investigation.
Van Gogh, who struggled with mental illness throughout his life, was staying with his parents when he painted "Spring Garden". Between 1883 and 1885, the artist documented the changing seasons in a series of paintings of the parsonage garden, and the stolen work was among them. In 2007, seven statues were stolen from the museum's sculpture garden, including a cast of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. In 2010, the two thieves responsible were sentenced to prison for four and four and a half years, reduced on appeal to two and almost three years imprisonment.