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Ukrainian border guards aid recovery of 17th century Dutch artwork missing since 2005 robbery

Ukrainian border guards collaborated with Polish and Dutch law enforcement to recover Jan Linsen’s 1629 painting taken in a 2005 Dutch museum robbery.
ukrainian border guards aid recovery 17th century dutch artwork missing since 2005 robbery jan linsen's painting eliezer rebecca well dated 1629 dpsugovua linsen
Jan Linsen’s painting “Eliezer and Rebecca at the Well”, dated 1629. Photo:
Ukrainian border guards aid recovery of 17th century Dutch artwork missing since 2005 robbery

As part of international cooperation to combat cross-border crime, Ukrainian border guards contributed to recovering a painting that Interpol had been searching for over the past 20 years.

After obtaining a tip, operatives probed a Ukrainian national who had left for Poland reportedly seeking contacts to sell Jan Linsen’s 1629 painting “Eliezer and Rebecca at the Well.” The culprit had also been seeking such contacts inside Ukraine, the Border Service of Ukraine reported.

The painting had been wanted by Interpol since 2005 when it was stolen from the Westfries Museum in the Netherlands along with 23 other paintings and 70 silver exhibits during a major heist. Many of those objects remain missing to this day.

The Ukrainian border guards received evidence pointing to an illegal art dealing in progress. The relevant information was forwarded to their Polish counterparts who confirmed the initial tip. The two border agencies, together with Dutch officials, then launched a joint operation to recover the artwork.

On Ukraine’s territory, the Dutch Embassy’s liaison officer was involved in the effort. As a result, the stolen 17th century painting by the Dutch master Jan Linsen (1603-1635) has been successfully located in an apartment in Poland and seized.

Law enforcement detained the perpetrator and pressed charges. The individual will be remanded in custody for three months as the investigation is led by the District Prosecutor’s Office of Kraków, Poland.

A Ukrainian man has been charged with dealing in stolen property and could face up to 10 years in prison. A local border guard spokesperson noted that the recovered painting is now safely stored at the Royal Castle in Kraków.


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