15:55 Sep. 16, 2016
Paintings were reportedly recovered from a Ukrainian battalion, which wanted to sell them
Ukraine has returned five Dutch paintings, dating back to the 17-18 centuries, to the Netherlands. They were stolen from a museum in the town of Horn in 2005 and more than ten years later, in late 2016 were recovered in Ukraine by the country's security service (the SBU).
Read also: Ukraine searches for stolen Dutch paintings
‘What we see are the masterpieces by the famous Dutch painters, that should please the eye of all mankind, and not just some villains', Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said during the ceremony at the Dutch embassy in Kyiv, UNIAN reports.
In December 2015 a museum representative said that Ukrainian OUN battalion (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) were in possession of the paintings, stolen from the Netherlands. The battalion allegedly wanted to sell them for 50 million euro.
Later the SBU in cooperation with Dutch law enforcers said they had found four paintings. Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin announced they would be returned to the Netherlands after a series of expert evaluations.
‘I'm happy that five paintings have been returned to us, thanks to our joint efforts with the Ukrainian government. Hopefully, the rest of the collection will also be found as soon as possible', Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders said.