Two Stolen Paintings Recovered in Switzerland

Lukas Gloor, director of the G. E. Buehrle Collection museum, poses with the recovered paintings.

Lukas Gloor, director of the G. E. Buehrle Collection museum, poses with the paintings that were recovered in Zurich, Switzerland, Tuesday. The paintings were stolen earlier this month. Steffen Schmidt/AP/Keystone hide caption

itoggle caption Steffen Schmidt/AP/Keystone

Two Impressionist paintings stolen from a Zurich, Switzerland, art museum earlier this month have been recovered, police said Tuesday.

The recovered paintings — Claude Monet's "Poppy Field at Vetheuil" and Vincent van Gogh's "Blooming Chestnut Branches" — were discovered in a parking lot in front of a Zurich mental hospital on Monday. It was unknown how long the white sedan in which the paintings were found had been parked there, Hotzenkoecherle said.

The recovered masterpieces were among four paintings worth $163 million that were stolen from a private museum in a Feb. 10 armed robbery.

Two other paintings — Edgar Degas' "Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter" and Paul Cezanne's "Boy in the Red Waistcoat" — are still missing, said Philipp Hotzenkoecherle, commandant of the Zurich city police.

The recovered paintings, worth a combined $64 million, are in good condition and were found still under the glass behind which they were displayed in the museum, Hotzenkoecherle said.

The paintings were identified by museum director Lukas Gloor after a thorough inspection.

"We're very happy that both the paintings are in absolutely impeccable shape," Gloor said.

Zurich police spokesman Marco Cortesi said he did not know whether a ransom was paid to recover the paintings.

Gloor said, "I can't give any information on that."

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