- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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