Wednesday, October 14, 2020
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No laughing matter: Dutch police say Frans Hals painting, Two Laughing Boys, stolen for third time – art and culture

A painting by 17th-century Dutch artist Frans Hals has been stolen — for the third time — from a provincial museum in the central Netherlands.

Police said Thursday that “Two Laughing Boys” was stolen early Wednesday from the Museum Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden in Leerdam, 60 kilometers south of Amsterdam.

The museum declined comment, referring questions to the police.

A statement issued by police said the museum’s alarm went off around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and officers found that a rear door had been forced.

According to police, the same Hals painting was stolen in 1988 together with a work by Jacob van Ruisdael. Both were recovered three years later. In 2011, both paintings were again stolen and recovered six months later. Further details of the earlier thefts weren’t immediately available.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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