The Dutch Museum Robbed By Thieves for 11 Rare Artworks

The Dutch Museum Was Robbed by Thieves on February 13th, Which Stole 11 Rare Chinese Ceramic Pieces and Smashed a Few of Them.

Feb 16, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Dutch Museum
The Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.


The Dutch museum (The Princessehof Ceramics Museum) lost its eleven valuable pieces in a robbery. The robbery took place on February 13th in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden. Everything occurred in the early morning hours. The burglars forced their way into the museum. Overall, the Princessehof is one of the most valuable ceramics-arts museums in the country.


Failed Robbery and Successful One: Are There Any Connections?

The Dutch Museum
The collection includes priceless Ming vases


Evidently, there were signs of a forced entry into the museum. The burglars used the museum’s roof to get inside. After that, they walked into the first floor of the museum. There they could see an ongoing Chinese ceramics exhibition. The name of the exhibition is “Party!“. The burglars stole 11 and broke seven pieces.


Two weeks before this theft, another break-in occurred. But, it was not successful. After that, the museum increased security. We can see they were not very lucky. This action did not stop the burglars from breaking in. The museum also spoke about this event. “The perpetrators seemed to have specific knowledge and to have struck in a targeted manner. The objects were part of an installation with Chinese ceramics“.


Valuable ceramics
One of the most spectacular objects in the collection.


The museum also said these artworks are very valuable and rare. The museum doesn’t think they will go on sale, but that this was a targeted assignment. Because of this, speculation is that thieves had specific knowledge and wanted specifically those pieces. But, one question remains. Is there a connection between those two robberies? Were thieves feeling the ground in the first one? At this time, nobody has the answers to these questions.

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There Are More Identical Crimes

The Dutch Museum
The stolen ceramics were part of the museum’s current exhibition, “Celebrate!”


The whereabouts of the four remaining pieces is not known. Immediately after the heist, the police started their investigation. The police is working on collecting security footage from an area around the museum. Also, authorities are asking prospective witnesses to come forward with any fresh evidence they may have.


The Dutch museum made a decision to remain closed for a week, and to reopen on February 21. The museum also made a decision to again straighten their security. Authorities said they obtained an immediate complaint of a break-in at around 3.45am. They also sent a substantial reply in the intention of apprehending the criminals.


The Princessehof Ceramics Museum


Officers cordoned off the area and searched the premises for the intruders, but they were unable to locate them. But, they did find seven broken ceramics in a close street. This street is also under an investigation for potential proof.


As previously said, this museum has the most valuable ceramics collection. Among them are rare Chinese Ming vases from 2800 BC. Also, there are additional ceramic works by artists such Dutch painter Armando, Pablo Picasso, and Lucebert. Three identical crimes occurred in a six-month period between 2019 and 2020, stealing priceless art items. The targets were smaller galleries with less advanced security.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.