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Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world. His paintings are very popular. They sell for lots of money. A museum in the Netherlands borrowed a Van Gogh painting. Famous paintings often travel to different museums. This is so many people can see them.

The museum that borrowed the painting has been closed. It has been closed because of the coronavirus. On March 30, the Van Gogh painting was stolen. It was the only thing stolen from the museum. The manager of the museum said their security worked normally. The thieves were very fast.

Many Van Gogh paintings have been stolen before. 28 Van Gogh paintings have been stolen in The Netherlands. They have all been found. It is very difficult to hide famous paintings.

Difficult words

Popular (adj): Liked by many people.

Borrowed (v): To use something that belongs to someone else for a short time.

Stolen (adj): Taken without permission.

Security (n): Something or someone who protects others from dangers.

Thieves (n): People who steal.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Popular  A. Use for a short time.
 2. Borrowed  B. Keep safe.
 3. Stolen  C. People who steal.
 4. Security  D. Liked by many.
 5. Thieves  E.  Taken

True or False?

1. Not many people know Vincent Van Gogh. T / F

2. Van Gogh paintings are very expensive. T / F

3. Famous paintings usually stay in one place. T / F

4. The museum was closed because of bad weather. T / F

5. Van Gogh paintings have been stolen before. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. very / popular / are / His / paintings

2. of / They / lots / sell / for / money

3. is so / see / people can / This / them / many

4. coronavirus / It / of the / because / been closed / has

5. were / very / The / thieves / fast

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Stolen Closed Travel
Famous Paintings Found

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most (1)____________ artists in the world. His paintings are very popular. They sell for lots of money. A museum in the Netherlands borrowed a Van Gogh painting. Famous paintings often (2)___________ to different museums. This is so many people can see them.

The museum that borrowed the painting has been closed. It has been (3)_____________ because of the coronavirus. On March 30, the Van Gogh painting was stolen. It was the only thing (4)__________ from the museum. The manager of the museum said their security worked normally. The thieves were very fast.

Many Van Gogh (5)_____________ have been stolen before. 28 Van Gogh paintings have been stolen in The Netherlands. They have all been (6)___________. It is very difficult to hide famous paintings.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Do you have a favourite museum?
5. Do you have a favourite painting?
6. Do you have a favourite artist?
7. Are museums popular in your country?
8. Does your country have many famous artists? If so, who?
9. Do you think the Mona Lisa should be the most famous painting in the world?
10. Should the Mona Lisa be returned to Italy?
11. How important is art to human culture?
12. Should museums and art galleries be free to enter?
13. Do you think this Van Gogh painting will be found?
14. What punishment should the thieves receive if they are caught?
15. How can museums better protect their items during the coronavirus lockdown?
16. Is there a museum that you would like to visit in the future?
17. Is there any art that you don’t like?
18. Have there been any art thefts in your country?
19. Do you think paintings are worth the prices they sell for?
20. What famous artist would you most like to meet?