Thieves stole a painting by Vincent van Gogh overnight from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands, its director said on Monday.

The gallery, in the town of Laren to the east of Amsterdam, is currently shut to the public due to the coronavirus epidemic.

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

‘I am shocked and absolutely livid that this has happened,’ Jan Rudolph de Lorm, director of the Singer Laren Museum, said in a video statement posted on YouTube.

‘This splendid and moving artwork by one of our great artists has been stolen, taken from the community,’ he said.

Police said the thieves had forced the building's glass front doors open at around 3.15 a.m. (0115 GMT).

The stolen painting depicts a woman in a garden with sparse red-flowered bushes and the church building in the background.

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

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