Factbox: High profile art thefts

(Reuters) - Thieves stole “Two Laughing Boys” by Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals from a small museum near the Dutch city of Utrecht, police said on Thursday.

The painting, dating from 1626, has been stolen twice before in its four-century history, including as recently as 2011. It was recovered six months later.

Here are details of some major recent art thefts:

April 1991, Amsterdam - In what was then billed as the world’s biggest art robbery, 20 paintings, estimated to be worth $500 million, were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, including Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters”. They were found shortly afterwards in an abandoned car not far away.

Nov 1993, Stockholm - Eight works by Pablo Picasso and French cubist Georges Braque, valued at some $60 million, were stolen from Stockholm’s Modern Museum. Some were recovered in the following months.

Dec 2001, Stockholm - “Conversation” and “A Young Parisienne” by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and a self-portrait by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn were stolen from Stockholm’s National Museum. “Conversation” was recovered the following April, the Rembrandt portrait in 2005.

Dec 2002, Amsterdam - Two Van Gogh oil paintings worth an estimated $56 million each were snatched by thieves in a daring robbery at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Both paintings were found in Naples in 2016 at the country house of an alleged mafia drug smuggler.

Aug 2003, Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland - Thieves stole the “Madonna of the Yarnwinder” by Leonardo da Vinci. The work, painted in the early 16th century, was valued at about $53 million. It was recovered in Scotland four years later.

Aug 2004, Oslo - Armed robbers stole Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from the Munch Museum in Oslo, the second time in 10 years that a version of the painting was stolen. Thieves also took Munch’s “Madonna”. The paintings, from 1893, were recovered in August 2006.

Dec 2004, Sao Paolo - In Brazil thieves stole Picasso’s 1904 work “Portrait of Suzanne Bloch,” worth up to $50 million, and local painter Candido Portinari’s 1939 “The Coffee Worker,” valued at about $5.5 million, from Sao Paulo’s leading art museum. Both paintings were recovered the next month.

Feb 2008, Zurich - Four oil paintings by Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, van Gogh and Claude Monet worth $164 million were stolen from the Buehrle Collection in Zurich. The Monet and Van Gogh were found soon after, and the Cezanne in 2012 in Serbia.

May 2010, Paris - Five paintings worth $120 million euros ($117.98 million) were stolen from the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - the stolen works included Picasso’s “Dove with Green Peas,” Henri Matisse’s “Pastorale,” Braque’s “Olive tree near l’Estaque,” Amedeo Modigliani’s “Woman on the range” and Fernand Leger’s “Still life with candlestick.”

Oct 2012, Rotterdam - Thieves made off with seven paintings, worth tens of millions of euros, by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and others from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum. The Picasso was briefly believed to have been recovered, until it was deemed a fake. A Romanian man and several accomplices were convicted of the theft in 2013.

May 2015, Madrid - Five paintings by Francis Bacon worth $25 million were stolen from a Madrid house. Three were recovered two years later.

($1 = 0.8476 euros)

Reporting by Alexandra Hudson