19:55 Apr. 14, 2016
Ukraine's security service locates four paintings
Ukraine's security service has found four paintings which had been stolen from the Dutch Westfries Museum in Hoorn. That's according to security service's chief Vasyl Hrytsak.
The art experts have already confirmed at least one of the canvasses is authentic.
Hrytsak said the investigation into the artworks' location has been on-going for approximately four months. He added the first two paintings were found prior to the Dutch referendum on E.U.-Ukraine Association Agreement.
However, Ukraine did not make this information public in order to locate two other artworks.
Hrytsak noted the paintings will be returned to the Netherlands.
A collection of paintings stolen from the Westfries Museum in 2005 was reportedly being kept in Ukraine's warzone, on the territory controlled by Russian-backed militants.
Last December, Ukraine's Interior Ministry announced the art works had been found in a home belonging to a person close to Ukraine's ousted ex-president Viktor Yanukovych who had fled his opulent mansion outside Kyiv in February 2014. Since then, Ukraine has been conducting a probe to retrieve the paintings in close cooperation with the Dutch Embassy in Kyiv.
Arthur Brand, Dutch art historian of the Westfries Museum, said earlier that the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) battalion had the stolen works (24 paintings) and tried to sell them for 50 million euros. The OUN battalion has denied these accusations.
In 2004, Ukraine returned 139 drawings and three prints from the Dutch 'Koenigscollectie' to the Netherlands. The artworks were considered lost during World War II.