For the first time since it was found in an Ikea bag, a stolen Vincent van Gogh painting was on exhibit, but it now has a white mark across its surface. In a press release announcing the return of the painting, the Gronginer Museum detailed the harm.
A press conference was held on Wednesday, February 7 at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, where “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring” was displayed in its damaged state. While the picture was lent to another institution in March 2020, it was stolen.
The painting was taken by a criminal who broke into the Singer Laren Museum, which is located in the Netherlands. Police never identified the perpetrator.
Three and a half years later, the painting was returned inexplicably, and in September it was delivered to an art investigator in Amsterdam in a blue Ikea bag.
There was damage to the lower portion of the painting – there was a large white scrape that exposed the linen underneath.
“I would call this a severe one because it goes through all the layers, the varnish, the paint layers and then into the ground layer, which is white,” De Visser told AFP.
“The Parsonage Garden at Neunen” was completed by Van Gogh in May 1884. It features a smiling, lone figure surrounded by sparse trees in a garden and a small church in the background. The painting is estimated to be worth up to $6.8 million, per AFP.
Restorer Marjan de Visser stated that the painting’s scratch was probably caused by it colliding with a hard surface. According to the news release, the painting will be available for public viewing at the Gronginer Museum starting on March 28.
In recent years, a number of well-known paintings that were pilfered have been found. An eighteenth-century picture that had been lost for nearly 78 years was found by the FBI in October. In 2019, a Picasso artwork that had been taken from a Saudi yacht was found by the same art investigator who had located the Van Gogh picture.
AFRICA BUSINESS INSIDER