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Art Theft

Stolen masterpieces


On the night of January 9 2005, 24 paintings and 70 pieces of silverware, the heart of the 17th and 18th century collection, were stolen from the Westfries Museum during a burglary. For years the city of Hoorn had been hoping that the paintings and the silverware would resurface. Not until 2014 did one of the stolen painting resurface on a Ukrainian website. Five paintings have now been retrieved, namely: a Pheasants Wedding by Hendrick Boogaert, a Kitchen Scene by Floris van Schooten, the Return of Jephta and Lady World both by Jacob Waben and Nieuwstraat in Hoorn by Izaak Ouwater.

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Hoorn (Netherlands) (AFP) - The Dutch city of Hoorn erupted with joy Friday as it welcomed back five masterpieces recovered from a "criminal group" in Ukraine after being snatched from the town's museum in 2005.

"After 4,320 days... yes we counted the days... they are back!" an emotional museum director Ad Geerdink told hundreds of citizens who gathered at the Westfries Museum as the 17th and 18th-century paintings were unloaded from a truck.

"Our heritage has returned to the museum where they belong, back in the city where they belong," Geerdink said as the crowd cheered and clapped.

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