Two infamous Vincent van Gogh paintings have been found in Naples this week, on September 25, 2016, returned in “moderately good condition” reports the Neapolitan edition of Corriere della Sera.
The paintings were on the FBI “Top Ten” unsolved crime list, which has just become a bit shorter.
The investigation was led by Italy’s Corpo della Guardia di Finanza, the Naples Direzione distrettuale antimafia, who have worked tirelessly alongside Dutch investigators to solve the crime.
Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen (1884-1885), which is owned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and View of the Sea at Schveningen (1882), which is the property of the Van Gogh Museum, were both stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002.
The latter, a small picture, is considered to be one of Van Gogh’s finest masterworks, painted while on a visit to the beach in Scheveningen, where the artist famously set up his easel “en plein air” (in the open air). The thick textured brushstrokes, a signature of Van Gogh, still contain the tiny grains of sand that blew onto the canvas that day.
ARCA has spoken directly with the investigators, and when asked about whether they could see the grains of sand, an investigator happily responded, “I have seen them today. And I have smelt the sea.”