A painting by 1600's Dutch artist Frans Hals has been stolen for the third time from a provincial museum in the central Netherlands.
The Two Laughing Boys was stolen from the Museum Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden in Leerdam, 60 kilometres (about 35 miles) south of Amsterdam, and the museum declined to comment, referring questions to the police.
A statement issued by police said the museum’s alarm went off around 3:30 a.m. and officers found that a rear door had been forced.
According to police, the same Hals painting was stolen in 1988 together with a work by Jacob van Ruisdael and both were recovered three years later. In 2011, both paintings were again stolen and recovered six months later. Further details of the earlier thefts were not available.