Dutch police recover 17th-Century paintings
Five paintings which were stolen from the Frans Hals Museum in 2002 have been recovered by police.16 September 2008
AMSTERDAM -- Dutch police have recovered five 17th-Century paintings, including Jan Steen's The Quack that were stolen from the Frans Hals Museum in 2002, the museum said Tuesday.
The paintings include Steen's Charlatan on the Market, as well as works by Cornelis Bega, Adriaan van Ostade and Cornelis Dusart.
They were estimated to be worth a total of around EUR 3 million when they were taken from the museum in Haarlem.
Museum spokeswoman Anke van Laan confirmed the art works had been returned, but gave no further details.
Police planned a news conference Tuesday afternoon, said Marianne de Jong, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in the southern city of Den Bosch.
Over the weekend, police seized the paintings in a raid on a house in the southern city of Den Bosch. Three suspects were arrested.
Leading lawyer Arthur van der Biezen was reportedly involved in the art robbery.
His lawyer Abraham Moszkowicz confirms that Van der Biezen is suspected of fencing the stolen paintings, but insists that his client is innocent. Moszkowicz reportedly said police also seized his client's Ferrari and Maserati.
Van der Biezen is the lawyer for one of the co-defendants in the trial of alleged crime boss Willem Holleeder.
Local newspaper Brabantse Dagblad said the museum's director, Karel Schampers, identified and examined the recovered paintings on Saturday, and found that all of them had been "considerably damaged".
[AP / Expatica]