Stolen Van Gogh paintings discovered in Italy

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Two Vincent Van Gogh paintings have been recovered by police in Italy 14 years after being stolen, officials said Friday.

Police in Naples said the works — described as being of "priceless value" — were discovered during a crackdown targeting the Naples-based Camorra crime clan, The Associated Press reported.

They were taken from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002 and "appear to be in relatively good condition," according to a news release announcing the discovery.

In photos: Paintings by Vincent Van Gogh

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Vincent Van Gogh Paintings
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Vincent Van Gogh Paintings
Employees of Sotheby's auction house pose with French artist Vincent van Gogh's L'Allee des Alyscamps painted in 1888 which is estimated to sell for 40 million USD at auction in New York during a press preview in London on April 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - MAY 6: Vincent van Gogh's painting known as Lallée Des Alyscamps' sold for $66.3 million during an auction at Sotheby's in New York, United States on May 6, 2015. 'Lallée Des Alyscamps' was offered at Sotheby's impressionist and modern art sale. The autumnal scene was painted in 1888 during a two-month period when van Gogh and Gauguin worked together in Arles, France.  (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People look at Tulips planted to form a portrait of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh Keukenhof flower garden in Lisse on April 21, 2015. The flower garden's theme is 'Van Gogh' for the 2015 season, marking the 125th anniversary of his death. AFP PHOTO / ANP / REMKO DE WAAL **NETHERLANDS OUT** (Photo credit should read REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
WASSENAAR, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 16: An electricity power substation is decorated with replica's of original paintings by Vincent Van Gogh on March 16, 2014 in Wassenaar, Netherlands. The Van Gogh Europe Foundation announced that in the year 2015 exhibitions will be organized to commemorate the 125th anniversary of his death. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
A visitor looks at a painting entitled 'Arbres dans le jardin de l 'hopital Saint- Paul ' by late Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh displayed at the Orsay Museum as part of the exhibition 'Van Gogh/Artaud. The Man Suicided by Society', on March 10, 2014 in Paris. (Photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
A visitor looks at 'L'eglise d' Auvers-sur-Oise vue du chevet ' (L) and 'Paysage sous un ciel tourmenté', paintings by late Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh displayed at the Orsay Museum as part of the exhibition 'Van Gogh/Artaud. The Man Suicided by Society', on March 10, 2014 in Paris. (Photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
A visitor looks at a painting entitled 'La chambre de Van Gogh à Arles' by late Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh displayed at the Orsay Museum as part of the exhibition 'Van Gogh/Artaud. The Man Suicided by Society', on March 10, 2014 in Paris. (Photo credit:  BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
A visitor looks at paintings by late Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh displayed at the Orsay Museum as part of the exhibition 'Van Gogh/Artaud. The Man Suicided by Society', on March 10, 2014 in Paris. (Photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Thieves used a ladder to reach the roof of the city-center attraction and broke into a building through a window. They escaped before museum officials could respond to the alarm.

"Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuene" and "View of the Sea at Scheveningen" are both from the 1880s — relatively early in Van Gogh's career.

They were recovered during an investigation by a specialized team within the Italian Public Prosecutions Department, the museum said.

It was not immediately clear when they would be returned to the Netherlands.

"The criminal case, in which the paintings will be presented as burdens of proof, is still to be held because the investigation is not yet fully completed," the release said.

Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum, thanked Italian authorities.

"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," he said in the release.

Van Gogh was born in the Netherlands in 1853 and died in France in 1890.

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