You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Stolen Van Gogh paintings recovered in Italy to head home

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/19/2017
FILE- In this Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 file photo, Director of Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum Axel Rueger, center, stands next to the paintings 'Congregation Leaving The Reformed Church of Nuenen', left, and 1882 'Seascape at Scheveningen' by Vincent Van Gogh, during a press conference in Naples, Italy. Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in 2002 from the Amsterdam museum that is named for the Dutch master and recovered last year by Italian police are set to be returned. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, file) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 file photo, Director of Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum Axel Rueger, center, stands next to the paintings 'Congregation Leaving The Reformed Church of Nuenen', left, and 1882 'Seascape at Scheveningen' by Vincent Van Gogh, during a press conference in Naples, Italy. Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in 2002 from the Amsterdam museum that is named for the Dutch master and recovered last year by Italian police are set to be returned. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, file)

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen from an Amsterdam museum in 2002 and recovered by Italian police last year are set to return to the Netherlands.

FILE- In this Friday, Sept. 30 2016 file photo, the recovered painting 'Seascape at Scheveningen' by Vincent Van Gogh, is shown during a press conference in Naples, Italy . Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in 2002 from the Amsterdam museum that is named for the Dutch master and recovered last year by Italian police are set to be returned. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, file) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Friday, Sept. 30 2016 file photo, the recovered painting 'Seascape at Scheveningen' by Vincent Van Gogh, is shown during a press conference in Naples, Italy . Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in 2002 from the Amsterdam museum that is named for the Dutch master and recovered last year by Italian police are set to be returned. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, file)

The Van Gogh Museum said Thursday that a court in Naples has cleared Van Gogh's "Seascape at Scheveningen" and "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen" to go back to the museum.

FILE- In this Friday, Sept. 30 2016 file photo, the painting 'Congregation Leaving The Reformed Church of Nuenen' by Vincent Van Gogh, is shown during a press conference in Naples, Italy. Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in 2002 from the Amsterdam museum that is named for the Dutch master and recovered last year by Italian police are set to be returned. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Friday, Sept. 30 2016 file photo, the painting 'Congregation Leaving The Reformed Church of Nuenen' by Vincent Van Gogh, is shown during a press conference in Naples, Italy. Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh that were stolen in 2002 from the Amsterdam museum that is named for the Dutch master and recovered last year by Italian police are set to be returned. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, File)

Police discovered the paintings hidden in a farmhouse near Naples last year while investigating suspected Italian mobsters for cocaine trafficking.

The masterpieces were swiped during a 2002 nighttime heist at the Van Gogh Museum.

Museum Director Axel Rueger says the court's OK is "great news."

"We can now focus fully on preparing for the paintings to come home," Rueger says.

No date has been set for the works' return.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon