UNESCO condemns theft of masterpieces during quarantine

10.04.2020 - Prensa Latina

UNESCO condemns theft of masterpieces during quarantine
Lentetuin, de pastorietuin te Nuenen in het voorjaar van Vincent van Gogh (Image by Groninger Museum)

The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) condemned this Thursday recent thefts of masterpieces, carried out by criminals who took advantage of the measures decreed to fight against Covid-19 pandemic. While most people are at home, criminals have been taking advantage of confinement to commit their misdeeds, UNESCO reported on Twitter, after the removal of important masterworks in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

At the Singer Laren museum, located some thirty kilometers from Amsterdam, the thieves stole ‘The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,’ painted by the famous Vincent van Gogh, his first oil painting, made in 1884 while living with his parents.

The theft of the painting, whose value could reach six million euros, occurred on Sunday evening March 29 to Monday March 30, in the institution closed for over a month in response to the spread of the pandemic on Dutch soil.

‘It causes incredible discomfort that this has happened. Art is there to be appreciated, inspire and provide comfort, especially in times as difficult as we are in,’ said museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm.

In Oxford, criminals stole three ancient masterpieces worth around 11 million pounds in mid-March from the Christ Church Picture Gallery.

According to the authorities, the paintings in question are:

Salvator Rosa’s ‘A Rocky Coast, With Soldiers Studying A Plan,’ from the late 1640s; Anthony Van Dyck’s ‘A Soldier On Horseback,’ circa 1616, and Annibale Carracci’s ‘A Boy Drinking,’ circa 1580.

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