Ukraine Militia Tries to Sell Stolen Dutch Golden Age Paintings

Jan Claesz Rietschoof’s ‘View of Oostereiland’, one of the paintings stolen from the Westfries Museum
Jan Claesz Rietschoof’s ‘View of Oostereiland’, one of the paintings stolen from the Westfries Museum

A Dutch museum released a statement on Monday that two dozen Dutch Golden Age artworks stolen nearly 11 years ago have been traced to a nationalist militia in Ukraine.

The public announcement by Westfries Museum in Hoorn was made to deter sales of the 24 paintings taken in a burglary on Jan. 9, 2005, along with 70 pieces of silverware, reports ABC News.

In July, the militia reportedly contacted the Dutch embassy in Kiev, first demanding 50-million euros in "ransom" and later a 5 million-euro ($5.4 million) "finder's fee" for the art. The museum says the works are likely valued at no more than 500,000 euros ($540,000) due to damage since the robbery. Museum officials have attempted to work with Ukrainian politicians for the artworks' return.

View images of the stolen works here.

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