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Dutch masterpiece ‘Two Laughing Boys’ stolen for third time | Netherlands 2017 News



Thieves have stolen the painting Two Laughing Boys by Dutch golden age artist Frans Hals from a museum in the Netherlands, police said, the third time it has been taken.

The artwork, valued at $18m by one expert and dating from 1626, was taken from the Hofje van Aerden Museum near the city of Utrecht before dawn on Thursday, with thieves breaking into the building from the back door.

The painting, featuring two laughing boys with a mug of beer, was previously stolen from the same museum in 2011 and 1988, being recovered after six months and three years, respectively.

It is the second theft of a painting from a Dutch museum closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic, after a Van Gogh artwork was stolen from the Singer Laren Museum in March.

The 1884 Van Gogh painting, Spring Garden, has not been recovered yet.

‘Hunt is on’

Dutch police said in a statement that officers rushed to the museum in the town 60km (40 miles) south of Amsterdam after the alarm went off about 3:30am (01:30 GMT) but they failed to find the suspects.

This photo from November 3, 2011, shows District Chief of Alblasserwaard Bart Willemsen showing Two Laughing Boys which was stolen from the Leerdam Museum in May that year [File: Ilvy Njiokiktjien/ANP/AFP]

“After the manager of the museum was able to provide access to the building, it turned out that the back door had been forced and one painting had been stolen: ‘Two Laughing Boys’,” the statement said.

Police said they have started an “extensive investigation” involving forensic investigators and art theft experts. They were checking cameras and talking to witnesses and local residents, they added.

Hals, a contemporary of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, was born in the early 1580s in Antwerp and moved as a child to the Dutch city of Haarlem.

He began to work as an art restorer before becoming a portrait painter in his own right. He is best known for his painting The Laughing Cavalier, which hangs in the Wallace Collection in London, and The Gypsy Girl, now housed in the Louvre in Paris.

He died in Haarlem in 1666.

Dutch art detective Arthur Brand – dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the art world” after tracking down a series of stolen works – tweeted that “the hunt is on” for the “very important and precious painting by Frans Hals”.

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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