Dutch police have arrested a suspect over the theft last year of two valuable paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals from different museums, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The paintings, however, remain missing.

In a statement posted on Twitter, police spokeswoman Maren Wonder said a 58-year-old man was arrested at his home in the Dutch town of Baarn, 40 kilometres south-east of Amsterdam, on Tuesday.

Dutch master Vincent van Gogh’s painting titled “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring”, which was stolen from the Singer Museum in Laren, Netherlands. (AP)

His identity was not released, in line with Dutch privacy guidelines.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t yet recovered the paintings and the investigation is continuing,” Ms Wonder said.

She called the arrest “a really important step in the investigation.”

Van Gogh’s “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884” was snatched from the Singer Laren museum, east of Amsterdam, in the early hours of March 30 this year.

Dutch police said they have arrested a suspect in the theft last year of two valuable paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals from two different museums. (AP)

The museum was closed at the time due to a coronavirus lockdown.

The 25-by-57-centimetre oil-on-paper painting shows a person standing in a garden surrounded by trees, with a church tower in the background.

The Hals work, “Two Laughing Boys”, was stolen some five months later from Museum Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden in Leerdam, 60 kilometres south of Amsterdam.

The Van Gogh painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands when a burglar smashed through reinforced glass doors to get into the Singer Laren, which is less than 10 kilometres from the town where the suspect was arrested.

The two stolen paintings, however, remain missing. (AP)

Singer Laren spokeswoman Esther Driessen welcomed the arrest and said she hopes it leads detectives to the painting.

“The most important thing is that the painting returns as quickly as possible to the Groninger Museum, where it belongs,” she said.

The Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden had no comment on the arrest.

Police said last year that the same Hals painting was stolen in 1988 together with a work by Jacob van Ruisdael. Both were recovered three years later.

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In 2011, the two paintings were again stolen and recovered six months later.

This content first appear on 9news

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