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Recovered Masterpieces Mark Another Triumph for the 'Indiana Jones' of the Art World


"Art Detective's Doorstep Surprise: Stolen Paintings Returned in a Late-Night Delivery

In a peculiar turn of events, six stolen paintings were anonymously delivered to art detective Arthur Brand at his doorstep in Amsterdam, almost 40 miles away from the small coastal town of Medemblik where the theft occurred. Brand, known for recovering notable artworks, including an early Van Gogh painting and Hitler's horse statues, received the paintings on a Friday night in mid-October while watching a soccer game. The deliveryman, apparently unconnected to the theft, requested assistance in unloading a package, later revealed to be the stolen artworks. Brand, recognizing their significance, promptly alerted the police.

The paintings, valued at approximately €100,000 (or $106,000), were taken from Medemblik's former town hall in September, along with other objects. The local authority had offered a reward for information leading to their return. Brand believes that the recovery of a Van Gogh painting last month, which gained global attention, may have influenced the return of the stolen artworks. The thieves, possibly fearing increased scrutiny or being unable to profit from the stolen pieces, chose to leave them at Brand's doorstep.

Among the recovered paintings is a portrait of ancient ruler King Radboud, significant to the local community, along with portraits of Prince William of Orange, Maurits of Orange, Count Jan van Nassau, Queen Wilhelmina, and a biblical scene. The paintings, now in police custody, mark another intriguing chapter in the world of art recovery."

"One of our executives received an unexpected message out of the blue," she said. "It's truly extraordinary and a bit of a mystery, but for us, it's really good news. We are especially pleased that the painting of Radboud is back because it really belongs to our municipality." Deputy Mayor Jeroen Broeders stated in a press release, "Sometimes you only know how much something is worth to you when it isn't there anymore, and that is certainly the case with these paintings."

Art detective Arthur Brand, responsible for the recovery, has declined to claim the reward offered for the return of the stolen paintings. However, he humorously mentioned, "But I have asked for a book voucher." This unexpected turn of events has brought relief and joy to the municipality, highlighting the emotional value of the recovered artworks to the local community."

"In a surprising development, six stolen paintings, including a portrait of ancient ruler King Radboud, were returned to art detective Arthur Brand via an anonymous doorstep delivery in Amsterdam, 40 miles away from the site of the theft in Medemblik. Brand, renowned for recovering significant artworks, speculates that the recent global attention on his successful retrieval of an early Van Gogh painting may have influenced the thieves to abandon the stolen artworks. The recovery, valued at approximately €100,000, marks a positive outcome for the local municipality, which expressed gratitude for the return, emphasizing the sentimental value of the paintings to the community. Brand, while declining the offered reward, humorously requested a book voucher. This unusual incident adds another intriguing chapter to the realm of art recovery."