Two paintings by Dutch master Van Gogh that were stolen from a museum in Amsterdam almost 14 years ago have been recovered by Italian police.
The artworks — Seascape at Scheveningen and Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen — date from the late 19th Century and were taken from the Van Gogh Museum in Dec. 2002.
The museum said the paintings were recovered “during a massive, continuing investigation” by Italian authorities.
Axel Rüger, the director of the Van Gogh Museum, thanked the organizations that helped find the artworks.
“After all those years you no longer dare to count on a possible return. The paintings have been found! That I would be able to ever pronounce these words is something I had no longer dared to hope for,” he said in a statement.
The museum said the paintings, whose frames were removed, appeared to be “in fairly good condition” but “show signs of some damage.”
"It is unknown where the works were kept after the theft in 2002, but it can be assumed that the paintings were not preserved under suitable conditions," a museum statement said.
Rüger said it wasn’t yet clear when they would be returned to Amsterdam. A news conference is scheduled to take place in Naples, Italy on Friday morning.