Dutch police have recovered five 17th century paintings, including a Jan Steen, which were stolen from the Frans Hals Museum in 2002, the museum said today.
The paintings include Steen’s Charlatan On The Market, as well as works by Cornelis Bega, Adriaan van Ostade and Cornelis Dusart.
They were estimated to be worth a total of around £2.4m (€3m) when they were taken from the museum in Haarlem.
Museum spokeswoman Anke van Laan confirmed the artworks had been returned, but gave no further details.
Police were planning a news conference, said Marianne de Jong, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in the southern city of Den Bosch.
Over the weekend, officers arrested three people in the southern Netherlands in connection with the case, national newspaper De Telegraaf reported, citing a lawyer for one of the defendants. The lawyer, Abraham Moszkowicz, reportedly said police also seized his client’s Ferrari and Maserati.
Local newspaper Brabantse Dagblad said the museum’s director, Karel Schampers, identified and examined the recovered paintings on Saturday, and found that all five had been “considerably damaged”.