Stolen Dutch paintings recovered
Date: 16 Sep 2008 | | Views: 3183
Five 17th Century paintings that were stolen from the renowned Frans Hals Museum in the Netherlands in 2002 have been recovered by Dutch police.
Paintings by artists including Jan Steen, Cornelis Bega and Adriaan van Ostade were recovered.
A museum spokesman said some of the works had been damaged, but all would be exhibited from Wednesday.
Police have arrested three people in connection with the case, national newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
"What we know is that three of the five paintings have been damaged, but we don't know which or how badly yet," the museum's Louis Pirenne said.
The works were done by artists from a movement that aimed to depict daily Dutch life in the 1600s, often with a moral message.
Of two paintings by Van Ostade, one titled The Contented Drinker is considered the finest work of the five.
At the time of the theft the paintings were insured for a total of $4.3m (£2.4m), though Mr Pirenne said their historical importance made their value "impossible to express" in figures.
Thieves struck the museum after forcing open a window.
Police arrived on the scene about five minutes after the museum's burglar alarm sounded, but the intruders had already escaped.