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2 missing Kunsthaus paintings mysteriously resurface

2 missing Kunsthaus paintings mysteriously resurface

More than a year after they were first reported missing, two paintings presumed stolen have finally been returned to their home at the Kunsthaus in Zurich. However, while visitors to the museum will soon be able to see the works by artists Robert van den Hoecke and Dirck de Bray in all their glory, their return to Zurich remains shrouded in mystery.

Two missing Dutch paintings returned to Zurich Kunsthaus

In a statement on Sunday, the Kunsthaus of Zurich confirmed that two paintings that went missing from the museum in 2022 have finally been returned. The small-format pieces were Soldiers in the Camp by Flemish artist Robert van den Hoecke and Daffodils and Other Flowers in a Glass Vase on a Marble Slab by Dutch Golden Age painter Dirck de Bray.

According to the museum, the two paintings disappeared after the Kunsthaus took down 700 different works for cleaning and restoration following a fire in August 2022. Authorities first reported the case to the police in January 2023, presuming the paintings to be stolen.

Most famously, in June 2023 the Kunsthaus offered a sum of 10.000 Swiss francs to anyone with information about where to find the two pieces - whether the museum paid this sum to anyone is yet to be revealed. Regardless, just less than a year later on May 26, 2024, officials confirmed that both paintings were returned to them in “good condition.”

The case of the two missing paintings remains a mystery

How the two paintings were returned to the Kunsthaus and who was ultimately responsible for the theft remains hotly debated. However, it may be a while before the full story is known, with the Kunsthaus writing that due to ongoing enquiries by the police, "no further information will be released for the time being."

For now, the two pieces will join the 4.000 paintings and 95.000 graphic works held by the museum today.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs / Shutterstock.com

Jan de Boer

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Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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