Lonely Planet Writer

Stolen Van Gogh paintings to go on show as route dedicated to the artist opens

Two paintings by the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, which were stolen and subsequently missing for over a decade, are set to go back on show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from Tuesday 21 March, just as a new multi-country route dedicated to The Starry Night painter opens.

The Sower (after Millet), by Vincent van Gogh 1890
The Sower (after Millet), by Vincent van Gogh 1890 Image by Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo Collection

The works, Seascape at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, will both taken from the Van Gogh Museum back in 2002 after thieves used a ladder to climb onto the roof, broke in via a window and escaped down the building using a rope. The stolen pieces were recovered from a house in Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples in Italy in September 2016.

Van Gogh House Cuesmes
Van Gogh House Cuesmes Image by Gregory Mathelot

Speaking about the news, the director of the Van Gogh Museum, Axel Rüger, said, ‘it is really a miracle that the paintings, which since 2002 were thought to have vanished from the face of the earth, have been found. The efforts of so many people have made the impossible possible. The fact that these two Van Goghs are again on public display after fourteen years calls for a celebration worthy of the occasion.’

Musée d’Orsay Paris
Musée d’Orsay Paris Image by P. Schmidt

News of the artworks going back on display comes as a new international route is launched which follows in the painter’s footsteps. Route Van Gogh Europe snakes across the Netherlands, Belgium and France, connecting up 14 different cities. The itinerary ties together a number of museums and sights where Van Gogh’s work is displayed, stored or can be studied.

As well as the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, other stops on the route include the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and Vincent van Gogh Huis in Zundert, where the artist was born.

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