Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen from a museum in Amsterdam more than a decade ago were recovered by Anti-mafia police in Naples. The paintings were found during a raid of the Camorra crime clan as part of a crackdown targeting cocaine trafficking. They are in reasonable condition although both are missing their frames and have some damage.
The two works are valued by investigators at $100m (£77m; €89m). Neither work was insured at the time. In 2002 the thieves entered from the roof, using a ladder to get past the security guards and cameras and evaded infrared systems to escape without a trace. Two suspects were arrested in 2004 and later convicted, but the paintings were never found until now.
The two paintings are: Seascape at Scheveningen, painted in 1882 and Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen from 1884. The two paintings are of great historical importance, the museum says. The Italian police investigation is ongoing. It’s unclear when the works would be returned to Amsterdam. The Italian culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said in a statement on Friday that the investigation “confirmed how much criminal organizations are interested in works of art, which are used as a form of investment as well as a front of financing.”