Dutch masters theft solved after 13 years

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Five of the seven paintings stolen from an elderly woman in Bilthoven, Utrecht back in 1999 turned up at a Christie’s auction last Wednesday. The police were called in and they’ve arrested three suspects, two in the Netherlands and one in Germany, involved in drugs and, well, theft from little old ladies. The most famous painting of the lot is probably ‘Antonius en Cleopatra’ (‘Anthony and Cleopatra’) from 1677 by Jan Steen. The other paintings are from the late 16th and 17th century.

The two paintings still missing from the now deceased elderly woman are more recent paintings, namely Isaac Israëls’ ‘Café-interieur-restaurant’ (‘Cafe interior restaurant’) from the 20th century and Wouterius Verschuur’s ‘Paarden in Schuur’ (‘Horses in a stable’) from the 19th century.

At the time of the theft, the paintings were valued at what is now 1,3 million euro (three million guilders).

Nice tangent: at age 63, Isaac Israëls actually won a Gold Medal at the 1928 Olympic Games, which were held in Amsterdam, for his painting Red Rider, an art competition that was part of the games.

(Links: www.dutchnews.nl, www.rtvutrecht.nl, Photo of Jan Steen by Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara’s photostream, some rights reserved)

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