Art thief suspected of stealing Van Gogh and Frans Hals paintings will remain in custody
The 58-year-old man from Baarn (Utrecht), who was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of the theft of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals, will remain in custody for fourteen days longer. This was determined by the examining magistrate of the court in Utrecht on Friday, a spokesman for the court said.
Both paintings were stolen last year. Van Gogh's works; 'Lentetuin', and 'The Pasonage Garden at Nuenen', were stolen at the end of March from the Singer Laren museum, which had the painting on temporary loan from the Groninger Museum.
Frans Hals's work, 'Twee lachende jongens', was stolen from the Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden museum in Leerdam at the end of August. It was the third time the painting had been stolen.
The looted works of art have not yet been recovered. According to De Gooi- en Eemlander, the arrested man, a Frenchman living in Baarn, is suspected of possessing a weapon, ammunition, and hard drugs in addition to the art robberies.
Art detective Arthur Brand, who follows the art thefts closely, says the stolen Van Gogh has presumably been resold twice and is now in the hands of a man imprisoned for large-scale cocaine trade. He would like to use the painting for a reduced sentence. This suspect will be tried in court in Den Bosch on Tuesday.