Ukraine returns paintings stolen from Netherlands in 2005

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Kitchen Piece by Floris van Schooten, stolen from the Westfries Museum in 2005 (Photo: Westfries Museum). Kitchen Piece by Floris van Schooten, stolen from the Westfries Museum in 2005 (Photo: Westfries Museum)

Five of the paintings stolen from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn in 2005, will soon be returning to the Netherlands. The Ukraine will hand them over to the Dutch embassy in Kiev and a Dutch expert is traveling to the Ukraine this week to assess their authenticity and condition, RTL Nieuws reports.

The paintings involved are Peasant Weddding by Hedrick Boogaert, Kitchen Piece by Floris van Schooten, Return of Jephthah by Jacob Waben, Women World by Jacob Waben and Nieuwstraat in Hoorn by Isaac Ouwater. They paintings were expected to be back in Hoorn early this month, but when the Ukraine suddenly set all sorts of additional requirements for their identification.

The expectation is that the paintings will be back in Hoorn in about three weeks. Art and Culture alderman Judith de Jong is "very happy and relieved that the paintings are really combing back in Dutch hands", she commented to the broadcaster. "We have been uncertain for some time about when they would come back."

The five paintings were stolen along with 19 other paintings and 70 pieces of silver work from the Westfries Museum in 2005. Four of the paintings were and a unknown buyer brought the fifth to the Dutch embassy in Kiev in May this year.

The other paintings and silver are still missing, but they are believed to be in the hands of militia in the Ukraine.

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