After Dutch museum, Ukrainian criminals rob Italian museum

Painting Vrouw Wereld, by Jacob Waben

This picture shows part of the painting Vrouw Wereld, made by Dutch painter Jacob Waben in 1622. One of 24 ancient paintings (including work by, eg Jan van Goyen) and much silver, stolen in 2005 from the Westfries Museum in the Netherlands.

Dutch NOS TV scheme of the Ukrainian culprits in the Westfries Museum art robbery

This Dutch NOS TV scheme shows the network of the Ukrainian culprits in the Westfries Museum art robbery; like Oleh Yaroslavovych Tyahnybok of the neo-nazi Svoboda party; Valentyn Oleksandrovych Nalyvaichenko, until recently the boss of the Ukrainian secret police, now a right-wing member of parliament; and Borys Humeniuk, commander of the OUN extreme right paramilitary gang. This OUN has the same name as an organisation collaborating with Hitler during the nazi occupation, led by Stepan Bandera.

The Westfries Museum and the Dutch government asked the Ukrainian government to return the stolen art and arrest the culprits. However, for a long time nothing happened, as the suspects were part of the political establishment in Ukraine. After much pressure, including the referendum on 6 April 2016, in which nearly two-thirds of Dutch voters rejected the European Union-Ukraine trade deal, suddenly something did happen: it was said four of the 24 stolen paintings would be returned to the Netherlands.

Now, it turns out something similar to what happened to the Westfries Museum happened to an Italian museum.

Sacra famiglia con una santa by Andrea Mantegna, one of the paintings stolen from the museum in Verona

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Stolen paintings from museum in Verona found in Ukraine

Today, 22:01

In Ukraine 17 paintings have been recovered that were a few months ago stolen from the Museo Castelvecchio in Verona. Among the paintings are works by Peter Paul Rubens and Jacopo Tintoretto.

The works have an estimated value of at least 15 million euros. They were found on an island in a river between Ukraine and Moldova. They were, eg, inside plastic bags.

How the police has been able to track the art is not clear, and as far as is known no one has been arrested.

Why is this so unclear, and why has not anyone been arrested?

Because maybe the suspects were once again Mr Oleh Yaroslavovych Tyahnybok of the Svoboda party, and ex-secret police boss Mr Valentyn Oleksandrovych Nalyvaichenko, or similar Ukrainian establishment people?

The paintings were stolen in November last year. Three armed and masked men entered then shortly after closing time invaded the museum and overpowered the guard and a cashier who were still in the building.

… The police soon after the robbery suspected that the perpetrators had acted on the instructions of higher-ups and that the paintings were smuggled to Eastern Europe.

Another painting stolen from the museum in Verona

8 thoughts on “After Dutch museum, Ukrainian criminals rob Italian museum

  1. Pingback: One stolen Dutch painting will return to museum | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  6. Pingback: Rubens painting rediscovered after centuries | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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