24 Stolen Dutch Golden Age Paintings Found In Ukraine, Militia Demands 50 Million Euro To Return Them

International News, News

On 9th Jaunary 2005, a number of thieves broke into the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, Netherlands and stole 24 paintings including some “Ductch Golden Era” paintings by artists like Jacob Waben, Hendrik Bogaert, Jan van Goyen and Jan Claesz Rietschoof. The paintings date back to 16th and 17th century when Netherlands was at the peak of its cultural excellence.

De Grashaven by Matthias Withoos Photo Wikipedia
De Grashaven by Matthias Withoos Photo Wikipedia

After the robbery, all investigations to find the paintings failed until the museum authorities found a picture of one of the paintings on an Ukrainian website in 2014. Last July, two men approached the Dutch embassy located in Kiev, Ukraine and claimed they had all 24 paintings which would be handed over for a sum of 50 million Euro.

View Of Oostereiland by Jan Claesz Rietschoof Photo AFP
View Of Oostereiland by Jan Claesz Rietschoof Photo AFP

According to Westfries Museum director Ad Geerdink, the estimated value of the paintings is 10 million Euro at prime condition and about 500,000 Euro if the condition has deteriorated. Soon after the incident, the Dutch government and the museum tried to retrieve the paintings but the group called Battalion of Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists who held the paintings seemed to be politically connected.

Vanity by Jacob Waben Photo AP
Vanity by Jacob Waben Photo AP

Ad Geerdink has launched an appeal over YouTube that translates to ”

“To everyone who has possession of our stolen treasure or has any knowledge about their whereabouts, I want to say: these are not pieces of art for you to have or sell. They are not assets you trade for some lousy money. These pieces of art are part of our cultural heritage, our history, and they belong here.” But he is worried that black market auctions for these paintings are already under way.

Bert Koenders, foreign minister of Netherlands, said in a press release, We’ve brought this up at the highest level with the Ukrainians. I believe that they are taking it very seriously. We are going to try to ensure it returns to the Westfries Museum.”

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Soumyajit DasMazumdar

Soumyajit is an SAP technical consultant with a flair for writing. An avid blog reader, he started off with a free WordPress blog and slowly moved to his own personal news and blog site. Apart from writing he loves reading books, playing table tennis and long bike trips. He is currently trying to learn playing guitar and failing miserably.


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