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A Van Gogh painting worth Kshs 600M stolen from a closed museum

A painting by Vincent Van Gogh was stolen in an overnight raid from a Dutch museum.

The Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam says “Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring” by the Dutch painter was stolen in the early hours of Monday (30.03.20).

The museum is currently closed as part of restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Local media put the value of the painting at between $1.1 million to $6.6 million (Kshs 105 million to Kshs 631 million)

“I am shocked and incredibly pissed off,” museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm told Dutch public broadcaster NOS. “Art is there to be enjoyed and to comfort people, especially during this difficult time.”

‘The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,’ is one of multiple works van Gogh had painted of that location in his lifetime.

According to the Associated Press, and had been on loan to the Singer Laren Museum from the Groninger Museum for an exhibition.

The thieves reportedly smashed a glass door to break into the museum which set off an alarm, the AP reported, but by the time police got there, both the thieves and the painting were gone.

Vincent Van Gogh was born in the Netherlands in 1853. Most of the 2,100 artworks he created in his lifetime were made within the last two years of his life.

He suffered from poor mental health and infamously cut off part of his left ear, before dying by suicide at the age of 37.

Van Gogh sold just one of his paintings during his lifetime. “The Red Vineyard” went for 400 francs in Belgium, seven months before his death.

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