A work by Dutch Golden-Age master Frans Hals was stolen in the pre-dawn hours from a small museum in the Netherlands on Thursday, police said, according to reports.
Dating from 1626, Hals' "Two Laughing Boys With a Mug of Beer" is now missing from the Hofje van Aerden Museum, located near Utrecht. The work is worth around 15 million euros ($18 million) estimated art expert Arthur Brand in a report from RTL Nieuws.
"Around 3:30 a.m. the alarm went off, and agents went straight to the museum," police said in a statement. "After the museum's manager could grant access to the area and building, it emerged that the back door had been forced open and one painting had been stolen."
The painting has been stolen twice before, in 1988, and in May 2011 from the same museum. It was recovered by police after four men attempted to sell it.