Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Let's Go Dutch !!!!! Update !!



Dutch police recover stolen 17th-century paintings
3 hours ago
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g1rcUwsONCzSA3EZTYLp-5Y4lX-gD937VVOG0

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch detectives have recovered five 17th-century paintings, including a Jan Steen, more than six years after they were snatched from the Frans Hals Museum, the museum and police said Tuesday.

The Golden Age works, worth millions of dollars, were found after an 18-month investigation by Dutch police who used undercover agents to crack the case and worked closely with Britain's Serious and Organized Crime Agency.

The paintings include Steen's "Charlatan on the Market," as well as works by Cornelis Bega, Adriaan van Ostade and Cornelis Dusart, police said in a statement.

Museum spokesman Louis Pirenne said three of the works had been damaged, but all would be exhibited from Wednesday at the museum in Haarlem, just west of Amsterdam.

The works were done by artists from a movement that aimed to depict daily Dutch life in the 1600s, often with a moral message.

Steen's "Charlatan on the Market" portrays a quack doctor selling medicines of dubious value to naive market-goers.

Of two paintings by Van Ostade, one titled "The Contented Drinker" is considered the greatest masterpiece of the five. The other Van Ostade is also titled "Charlatan on the Market."

At the time of the theft the paintings were insured for a total of US$4.3 million, though Pirenne said their historical importance made their value "impossible to express in euros."

After they were stolen, museum staff said the paintings would be impossible to sell on the open market because they were too well-known and documented.

Two Den Bosch men, aged 23 and 69, were arrested Saturday at a hotel in Eindhoven and another, aged 54, was arrested close to his home in Den Bosch, police said. Their identities were not released, in line with Dutch privacy laws.

All three are being held on suspicion of receiving the stolen paintings.

Police said they seized cars, including a Ferrari and a Range Rover, at one of the houses along with handguns, body armor, designer watches, drugs and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Art Hostage comments:
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Serious Organised Crime Agency, S.O.C.A. where have we heard them mentioned in the background before ??
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Interesting story of how authorities made their way through the Underworld to get these paintings back.
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O'h, and guess who was the dishonest, double crossing, agent provocateur ??
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More to follow.................................
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Update:
Apparently, the ransom money went walkabout last Friday and the authorities did not have the prize picture, the Jan Steen.
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This was recovered Saturday along with other luxury items such as Ferrari, cash etc., the ransom money may be written off, nudge, nudge, wink, wink !!!
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Were those arrested the original thieves, No
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Were those arrested involved in the handling of these stolen paintings, No
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Those arrested were a middleman, who funny enough was celebrating his sixty-ninth birthday on Saturday, his lawyer and another possibly his son.
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They were trying to hand back the stolen art and got caught up in the web of deceit and fell pray to yet another entrapment.
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To find out how to facilitate the return of stolen art without getting arrested and having a chance at getting a reward contact Art Hostage, for everything else, use Cash, MasterCard and plastic money is fast becoming extinct .
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