ROME, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- After 14 years, the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, the Nertherlands, finally announced the recovery of two Vincent van Gogh paintings on Friday, thanks to a recent operation by Italian police.
"The paintings have been found! That I would be able to ever pronounce these words is something I had no longer dared to hope for," said Axel Ruger, director of the Van Gogh Museum, at a press conference in Naples, Italy, where Italian police announced the success of their operation.
The two paintings are "Seascape at Scheveningen", painted in 1882, and "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen", painted in 1884. Their authenticity has been confirmed by experts of the museum.
According to Italian media reports, the paintings were discovered in a house belonging to an international drug trafficker group based in Castellammare di Stabia, about 19 miles south-east of Naples.
When the paintings were stolen in 2002, the lost was considered one of the "top 10" art crimes that year, according to British newspaper The Guardian, citing U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The paintings have no frames and show signs of some damage but remain "in fairly good condition," the Van Gogh Museum said in a statement posted on its website.
As further investigation and legal procedures on the local crime organization are underway, it's not clear when the paintings will return to Amsterdam.
Ruger said he is hopeful and counts on the support of the Italian authorities.