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Vincent Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum

Plus: US stimulus package of $2tn including funding for arts bodies | Creative Scotland announces £11m in arts funding | and director of Museum of the Bible to return 11,500 antiquities to Iraq and Egypt

30 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Vincent Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum | An early painting by Vincent Van Gogh, Spring Garden (1884), has been stolen from the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands. The painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum for a temporary exhibition, which was ongoing when the Singer Laren closed earlier this month due to Covid-19; it is the only Van Gogh painting in the collection of the Groninger. No other works are thought to have been taken by the thieves, who broke into the museum last night (29 March) at around 3.15am.

US stimulus package of $2tn includes funding for arts bodies | A $2tn economic stimulus package, intended to address the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, was signed into effect by President Trump last Friday (27 March) after being voted through Congress earlier that day. It will provide funding for a number of national organisations, including $75m each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as $50m for the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the combined figure of $200m to these bodies falls considerably short of the figure of $4bn requested by the American Alliance of Museums, in a letter of 19 March which suggested that museums nationwide were losing ‘at least $33m a day’.

Creative Scotland announces £11m in arts funding | Creative Scotland has announced £11m in new funding during the pandemic, split across three categories of grants to artists and arts professionals. The funds are additional to the $20m resilience fund earmarked for charities, including arts organisations, included in the Scottish Government’s $2.2bn business relief package.

Director of Museum of the Bible to return 11,500 antiquities to Iraq and Egypt | Steve Green, the president of the Hobby Lobby corporation and director of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., has agreed to return 11,500 antiquities from the museum to the governments of Iraq and Egypt. They include 5,000 papyrus fragments and 6,500 clay objects which do not have clear provenance; the museum was the subject of controversy earlier this month after fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls in its collection were found to be forgeries.

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