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This Masterpiece Just Got Stolen, Again

'Two Laughing Boys' by Frans Hals taken from Dutch museum
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2020 11:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pandemic is bad news for art patrons because museums are mostly closed. Art thieves, on the other hand, seem to be doing OK. For the second time since the pandemic began, a painting has been stolen from a shuttered museum in the Netherlands, reports Reuters. In March, it was a Van Gogh—watch the theft in action at the Singer Laren Museum. Now, it's a painting called "Two Laughing Boys," created by Frans Hall in 1626. It has already been stolen twice previously. Police say they responded to alarms overnight at the small Hofje van Aerden Museum near Utrecht and discovered that a rear door had been forced open, reports the AP.

The Hals painting is owned by the museum and valued at nearly $18 million, per DutchNews. The same painting was stolen from the museum in 2011 and recovered six months later; in 1988, it was stolen and recovered three years later. Security was stepped up after the 2011 theft, and the piece was confined to an area where visitors had to be supervised. Hals is perhaps best known for his painting "The Laughing Cavalier," according to Reuters. (The Van Gogh painting hasn't been recovered, but "proof of life" photos have emerged.)

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