The Mystery Of Van Gogh's Stolen "Priceless" Paintings

Photo: APIC/Getty Images.
Vincent Van Gogh: Self-Portrait 1887 oil on artist's board, mounted on cradled panel, collection Art Institute of Chicago.
It's been one of the biggest mysteries of the art world for over a decade. Now, almost 14 years after they were first stolen, Italian police believe they have found two artworks by the legendary Vincent Van Gogh.

In December 2002, thieves broke into Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum, climbing in through the roof with a ladder and then using a sledgehammer, according to the BBC. At the time, experts were baffled by the disappearance of the pieces because security guards were on duty and infrared beams were in use in the museum. Two Dutch men were jailed for the heist but they always insisted they were innocent.

"Seascape at Scheveningen" and "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church at Nuenen", both painted in the late 19th century, have been described as "priceless". The museum has shared its joy at finding the pieces on social media.

Italian police claim to have recovered the artworks in a raid against the Naples mafia and insist the find was part of "an ongoing investigation". The original theft instigated a security review of the world's leading art museums.

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