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Seventeenth century Dutch masterpiece stolen by an IRA gang and Martin Cahill displayed in the Ulster Museum

The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael was offered by the Trustees of the Alfred Beit Foundation in lieu of tax and allocated to National Museums NI. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd

A seventeenth century Dutch masterpiece which was stolen by an IRA gang and Dublin criminal Martin Cahill has gone on display in the Ulster Museum.

The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael was offered by the Trustees of the Alfred Beit Foundation in lieu of tax and allocated to National Museums NI.

The painting is famous for being stolen but recovered three times from the same stately home in Wicklow,.

Russborough House in Co Wicklow, owned by Sir Alfred Beit - a scion of the famous De Beers diamond mining company, former British MP and honorary Irish citizen, was robbed 19 paintings, including the van Ruisdael in 1974 by an IRA gang.

They were recovered in Co Cork a few weeks later.

In 1986, the house was robbed by the Dublin criminal Martin Cahill, known as `The General', who took the van Ruisdael as part of a heist of 18 paintings.

The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael was offered by the Trustees of the Alfred Beit Foundation in lieu of tax and allocated to National Museums NI. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd

The Cornfield was recovered days after the robbery.

In 2002 The Cornfield was one of five paintings taken and recovered three months later.

Jacob van Ruisdael is commonly considered the foremost landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age.

The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael will be on display in the Life and Light Dutch and Italian Painting exhibition at the Ulster Museum.

The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael was offered by the Trustees of the Alfred Beit Foundation in lieu of tax and allocated to National Museums NI. Picture by Press Eye/Darren Kidd

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