All it took was a couple of powerful swings with a sledgehammer and a valuable painting by Vincent van Gogh was gone.
A Dutch criminal television program has broadcast surveillance cameras that show how an art thief struggled through reinforced glass doors in a museum in the early morning hours of March 30.
He later hurried through the museum gift shop with a painting of Vincent van Gogh under his right arm and a sledgehammer in his left hand.
The police hope that the publication of the pictures will help them track down the thief who stole Van Gogh̵
No one was arrested in the theft, and the painting that was borrowed from another Dutch museum is still missing.
The police held back other pictures from the museum in Laren, a city east of Amsterdam, to protect their investigation. You also didn’t broadcast a video from outside the Museum of Thief.
More than 40 new tips came out of the public eye as a result of the show, police spokesman Joost Lanshage said on Wednesday, adding that it is not clear whether the thief acted alone.
The police are also looking for information about a white van that is shown on footage that drives past the museum. The 25 x 57 cm oil-on-paper painting shows a person standing in a garden surrounded by trees with a church tower in the background.
“It looks like they targeted this Van Gogh painting very carefully,” another police spokeswoman, Maren Wonder, told the Opsporing Verzocht show on Tuesday night’s show.
The artwork comes from a time when the artist returned to his family in a rural area of the Netherlands and painted the life he saw there, including his famous work “The Potato Eaters”, mostly in somber tones.
Wonder said the investigators wanted to hear from potential witnesses who saw the thief arriving on a motorcycle outside the museum.
She also wants museum visitors to share photos or videos taken in the days leading up to the museum’s closure with the police to see if anyone has hidden the museum from theft.
“People can help if they find that another visitor is suspicious,” she said. “It would be very helpful if visitors to the museum had photos or video recordings with other people.”