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Thief who stole Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals pictures jailed for eight years

A man has been jailed for stealing a priceless Vincent van Gogh picture.

The 59-year-old man was also found guilty of taking a painting by fellow Dutch artist Frans Hal.

The thief was described as an “incorrigible and calculating criminal”.


He was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in the Netherlands.

The man was found guilty of taking van Gogh’s “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884” from the Singer Laren museum near Amsterdam.

In a separate incident he stole Frans Hals’ “Two Laughing Boys” – worth £14 million – from a museum.

No value was given to the van Gogh picture.

Both pieces were taken last year during Covid-19 lockdowns at the museums.

The Central Netherlands Court heard the robber broke into the museums at night and escaped on a scooter driven by an accomplice.

The defendant, not named under Dutch privacy laws, denied the charges.

However, in a statement the court was told: “The court doesn’t believe this.

“His DNA was found at both crime scenes, and the man can’t explain how that is possible.

“The paintings are part of the national cultural heritage; they are important for present and future generations.

“That is why and given the criminal record of the suspect who is, according to the court, an incorrigible and calculating criminal, the court considers the maximum sentence to be appropriate.”

Neither picture has been recovered.



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