The Van Gogh Museum has welcomed home two paintings by the Dutch master more than 14 years after they were ripped off a wall at the museum in a nighttime heist. The paintings, the 1882 "Seascape at Scheveningen," and 1884-85 work "Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen," were discovered last year by Italian police investigating suspected Italian mobsters for cocaine trafficking. Museum director Axel Rueger today called the return of the paintings one of the "most special days in the history of our museum." The paintings are going back on display at the museum before being taken to its conservation studio for repair. Rueger says the paintings have suffered remarkably little damage during the 2002 heist and the years since.
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