Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh’s painting “Spring Garden” from 1884 was stolen from a museum in The Netherlands.

The painting was a loan from the Groninger Museum, for a temporary exhibition at Singer Museum, in the city of Laren, dedicated to preserving the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer, reports Efe news.

The robbery took place on Monday whilst the gallery was closed to the public as part of the country’s preventive measures against the coronavirus pandemic

The thieves broke into the museum at dawn on Monday, forcing and breaking the exterior glass door, which granted them access to the art and Van Gogh’s valuable work, Jan Rudolph de Lorm, director of the museum, told the media.

No other items have been reported missing so far.

“I am shocked and incredibly angry. It is a blow to the Groninger Museum, to the Singer Museum in Laren and to all of us. Art is to be enjoyed and shared,” the director said.

In 1883 and 1884, Van Gogh was living with his parents in Nuenen, where his father was a pastor at the local parish.

The Dutch artist immortalised in the stolen canvas the garden of the vicarage, a place that offered him the peace and inspiration he needed, as he described in his letters.

Dutch authorities, along with a team of forensics, detectives and stolen art experts, have launched a criminal investigation to try to locate the thieves and bring the painting back to its owners, police said in a statement.