The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884

It sounds like a situation straight from a film, though in 2020, stranger things have happened. Around Europe and much of the globe, museums and popular tourist spots remain closed to the public to combat the ongoing health crisis but in an overnight raid it appears some have taken it to their advantage. According to Associated Press, Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884’ was stolen from the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands early Monday morning, March 30.

“I’m shocked and unbelievably annoyed that this has happened,” said Singer Laren museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm. “This beautiful and moving painting by one of our greatest artists stolen – removed from the community. It is very bad for the Groninger Museum, it is very bad for the Singer, but it is terrible for us all because art exists to be seen and shared by us, the community, to enjoy to draw inspiration from and to draw comfort from, especially in these difficult times.”

The painting was said to be on loan from the Groninger Museum in the Dutch city of Groningen and while the exact value of the painting is not known, van Gogh artworks are auctioned off for millions of dollars. The painting in question depicts van Gogh’s move to a rural part of the Netherlands and shows a woman surrounded by trees with a church tour in the background.

The theft involved a smashed door and according to reports, when police had arrived to the scene, the culprit had fled.

Stay tuned for further developments.