Four stolen Dutch seventeenth-century paintings turn up in Ukraine

Vrouw Wereld, by Jacob Waben

Dutch NOS TV reports today that four out of 24 stolen seventeenth-century paintings, for the return of which Ukrainian extreme right paramilitarists tried to blackmail the Dutch government financially, have been rediscovered in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian secret service refused to say how the paintings turned up and in whose hands they were.

According to Geerdink [director of the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, where the paintings, and much silverware, were stolen from] there has been strong political and diplomatic pressure on Ukraine to find and give back the canvases. The four rediscovered paintings will go via Dutch Public Prosecution back to Hoorn. The museum does not know how much time that will take.

Apparently, the overwhelming No vote in the recent Dutch referendum on the Ukrainian-European Union association treaty helped to increase pressure on the Ukrainian secret police to return at least some paintings.

The four paintings include two paintings by Jacob Waben: Vrouw Wereld (Ms World) and The Return of Jephthah.

The other two paintings are (probably) Farmers’ wedding by Hendrick Boogaert; and Kitchen scene by Floris van Schooten.

Kitchen scene, by Floris van Schooten

Twenty other stolen Westfries Museum paintings are still missing.

Dutch voters reject European Union-Ukraine treaty

This video in English from the Netherlands says about itself:

Ukraine: give back stolen art!

6 December 2015

Valuable paintings that were stolen from the Westfries Museum in The Netherlands in 2005, have turned up on the battlefield in Ukraine. The museum calls on anybody that knows where these paintings are, to return them to their rightful owners.

Vrouw Wereld, by Jacob Waben

This picture shows 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.

Meanwhile, today, after the exit polls, the majority of votes in the Dutch referendum on the European Union-Ukraine treaty has been counted.

According to NOS TV, 96.1% of all votes has been counted. Of those, 37.8% voted Yes. 61,5% voted No.

In Hoorn, where the museum was robbed, 66.3% of voters voted No; more than the national average.

The NOS says 32,2% of the electorate voted. More than 30%; making the referendum valid.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation on Sunday. The Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada, will vote to accept his resignation on Tuesday, April 12. He will be replaced as prime minister by the parliament’s chairman Volodymyr Groysman, a member of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. In a country where major political scandals and crises occur frequently and regularly, Yatsenyuk leaves government as one of Ukraine’s most hated politicians: here.