Van Gogh painting stolen from shuttered Dutch museum

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A Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen overnight from the Singer Laren Museum in Dutch province of North Holland, which has been closed due to the coronavirus epidemic, the museum announced on Monday.

Painting "Lentetuin" or "Spring Garden" by Vincent van Gogh is seen in this handout picture released by the Singer Laren Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands on March 30, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

The painting "The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring" finished by the Dutch master in May 1884. The work was on loan from the Groninger Museum, which only had this Van Gogh painting in its collection. It is the only painting that the thieves took with them from Singer Laren last night.

The burglars entered the museum around 3:15 a.m. local time on Monday by forcing the glass front door. The break-in triggered the alarm, but the perpetrators had escaped the scene when the police arrived. The police are investigating the theft. The Singer Museum is currently closed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands.

According to Singer Laren, the security was entirely in line with protocol. "We have coordinated this well with our insurance experts, but of course we can learn from this," said general director Evert van Os in an explanation video on YouTube.

"We are shocked and incredibly angry that this happened," said Singer Museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm. "This beautiful and moving painting by one of our greatest artists has been taken from all of us." Groninger Museum director Andreas Bluhm agreed and added that the painting "should be returned as soon as possible." 

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