Van Dongen theft in Belgium

July 17 2013

Image of Van Dongen theft in Belgium

Picture: Van Buuren Museum

Another art theft in Europe, this time in Belgium at the Van Buuren Museum, where two thieves stole six pictures valued at over 1.5m Euros. The best known work was Kees Van Dongen's 1906/7 'La Penseuse'. More details here.

Update - a reader writes:

I am a reader of your weblog arthistorynews and wanted to provide you with a few more details on the Van Buuren theft.

According to Belgian newssite, thieves took 10 pictures, not 6. Other sources mention at least 10 pictures. The museum's security system was in full working order, but the thieves left the building after little more than 2 minutes, long before the police arrived. Expert Janpiet Callens argues that the pictures must have been stolen either on behalf of an obsessive collector or in view of asking a ransom. Among the stolen works are pieces by James Ensor, Kees van Dongen, Brueghel the Younger and Adriaen Brouwer. The Van Buuren museum is located in the home of banker, collector and patron David van Buuren and his wife Alice Piette and features their private collection in the villa's art deco rooms.

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