Security footage shows thief dashing for Van Gogh painting

Armed with a sledge hammer, a thief was seen running through the museum's gift shop as he smashing through the doors to reach the main gallery.

Police spokesman Joost Landshagen told Reuters that they received a call alerting them of the burglary at around 3.15 a.m. (0115 GMT) on March 30, but when they arrived on site 15 minutes later, the painting was already gone.

The painting "Lentetuin", or "Spring Garden," which depicts the garden of the rectory at Nuenen and dates to 1884, had been on loan from the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.

The museum, in the town of Laren to the east of Amsterdam, appealed for the swift return of the painting, which was added to Interpol's list of stolen artworks.

Dutch museums have been closed because of the coronavirus outbreak since March 12.