Stolen Van Gogh paintings recovered by anti-Mafia police
'Priceless' artworks stolen from Amsterdam in 2002 found in 'relatively good condition'
Anti-Mafia police in Naples have recovered two Van Gogh paintings stolen from Amsterdam in 2002, the Van Gogh Museum and organized crime investigators said Friday.
The museum in a statement on its website Friday said the paintings, found without their frames, are in "relatively good condition." It said the two paintings are the 1882 work Seascape at Scheveningen and a later work, Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen.
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Police in Naples said the paintings, of "priceless value," were discovered during a raid as part of a crackdown against a Naples-based Camorra crime clan suspected of cocaine trafficking. Naples prosecutors said more details will be given later at a news conference in the southern Italian city.
The paintings were sequestered along with other property, worth `'tens of millions of euros," said the police. The Financial Guard, a branch of the Italian police, often sequesters financial assets of suspected criminals.
"After all these years, you no longer dare count on a possible return," the museum quoted its director Alex Rueger as saying, and expressed gratitude to Italian investigators and police.
The museum said the paintings, inspected by a curator, do show "some damage" and it is unclear when they will return to Amsterdam. The museum director was planning to attend the news conference.