THE HAGUE (AFP) - Two renowned paintings stolen from a Dutch museum seven years ago, one by Salvador Dali and the other by Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka, have been recovered, a specialist art detective said Wednesday.
Dali's 1941 surrealist work “Adolescence” featuring the Catalan artist and his beloved nanny and Lempicka’s sensual 1929 tableau “La Musicienne” have been tracked down, detective Arthur Brand said via his Twitter account.
“We recovered the #Dali and the #DeLempicka, stolen in 2009 from Scheringa museum,” he wrote in a Tweet, posting two pictures of himself with the paintings.
The two works of art were snatched from the Scheringa Museum of Realist Art in the northern town of Spanbroek in a daylight armed robbery on May 1, 2009.
Several masked men threatened staff and visitors with a gun and then drove off in a car with the two tableaux, police told AFP at the time.
Brand said the two paintings had then been given to a criminal gang in lieu of payment -- a transaction which is common among criminal groups.
But “this organization did not want to be found guilty of the destruction or resale of art works,” Brand told the Dutch daily De Telegraaf, and had contacted him through a go-between.
Brand said he had handed the paintings over to British police at Scotland Yard who are in contact with the rightful owners, whose identities have not been revealed.