Van Gogh Painting Stolen from Dutch Museum during Coronavirus Shutdown

Thieves stole a painting from the Netherlands 'Singer Laren Museum by Dutch master Vincent van Gogh overnight, currently closed to the public owing to coronavirus, its director said on Monday.

The painting "Lentetuin," or "Spring Garden," portraying the rectory flower at Nuenen and dating back to 1884, was loaned from the Netherlands Groninger Museum.  

"I am shocked and absolutely livid that this has happened," Jan Rudolph de Lorm, the director of the Singer Laren Museum, said in a video statement posted on YouTube.

"This splendid and moving artwork by one of our great artists has been stolen, taken from the community," he said.

The museum, based in the town of Laren east of Amsterdam, called for the painting's rapid recovery, which was attached to the register of looted artworks by Interpol.

"They entered by breaking through the glass doors" at around 3.15 a.m. (0115 GMT), police said in a statement. "The culprits were gone by the time police responded to the alarm."

Investigators were searching for witnesses and security footage, including reviewing physical data, it added.    

The stolen painting shows a woman in the distance in a garden of scattered red-flowered trees and the church house.

Dutch museums have been closed because of the coronavirus outbreak since March 12. 

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