Van Goghs

Van Gogh Museum director Axel Rueger stands next to stolen and recovered "Seascape at Scheveningen" by Dutch master Vincent van Gogh, during a press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh titled "Seascape at Scheveningen" (1882) and "Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen," (1884-1885) returned to the Amsterdam museum after they were stolen from in a nighttime heist 15 years ago and recovered by Naples police in Italy. (AP 

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Two Vincent van Gogh paintings stolen more than 14 years ago went back on display Tuesday at the Amsterdam museum dedicated to the Dutch master.

“They’re back!” said Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Rueger, calling their return one of the “most special days in the history of our museum.”

The paintings — the 1882 “View of the Sea at Scheveningen” and the 1884-85 “Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” — were discovered last year by Italian police investigating suspected cocaine traffickers.

They were wrapped in cotton sheets, stuffed in a box and hidden behind a wall in a toilet in a farmhouse near Naples, said a police official.

The paintings were found as Italian police seized $21.6 million worth of assets, including villas, and even a small airplane.

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