The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring by Vincent van Gogh has been returned to the Groninger Museum three and a half years after the theft. It was stolen on 30 March 2020 from Museum Singer Laren, where it was on loan for an exhibition at the time.
«The Groninger Museum is extremely happy and relieved that the work is back. It is currently in good company in the Van Gogh Museum. We are very grateful to our colleagues in Amsterdam for their hospitality. On behalf of all our staff, all Groningen residents and all visitors, we are very grateful to everyone who contributed to this good outcome. Arthur Brand played a key role in this case and the museum greatly appreciates that,» said Andreas Blühm, director of the Groninger Museum.
A suspect was already arrested and convicted by the police in 2021. Three and a half years after the theft, the stolen work has finally been returned. The police were closely involved in all phases. The museum cannot make any statements about the ongoing investigation. The work will be thoroughly investigated in the near future. The painting has suffered but is – at first glance – still in good condition. It will be scientifically investigated in the coming months. The museum cannot yet estimate when The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring will be on display in Groningen again. It could take weeks, if not months.
The painting by Vincent van Gogh is from 1884, painted in oil on paper on a panel. It is the only painting by Vincent van Gogh in the collection of the Groninger Museum and is one of the absolute highlights of the collection. It had been in a private collection in Groningen since the beginning of the 20th century and was donated to the municipality of Groningen in 1962. In 2021, the museum produced an educational document about the work. With photos of pen drawings and fragments from van Gogh’s letters, it provides more information about the painting and about Vincent van Gogh. Check it out (in Dutch) on the website.
The insurance has paid out the amount of the value and is therefore the formal owner of the painting. As usual, the Groninger Museum has the right to the first purchase and will, of course, use this right in order to show the work to the public again in its right place.