A masterpiece by Johannes Vermeer goes on public display at the National Gallery of Ireland.

'Lady Writing a Letter, with her Maid' by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer was stolen twice from Russborough House in County Wicklow but now will go on show at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The painting was stolen in 1974 and again in 1986 from Russborough House, the home of Sir Alfred and Lady Clementine Beit. Working with the Belgian police, the Gardaí recovered the painting along with other stolen paintings in Antwerp in 1993.

‘Lady Writing a Letter, with her Maid’ estimated to be worth around twenty million pounds, is one of seventeen paintings donated to the National Gallery of Ireland by the Beit family.

Lady Clementine Beit says,

Beautiful paintings, absolutely unique and we’re very lucky to be able to get them back now so that everybody in Ireland will be able to see them again.

The restored and reframed work by Vermeer will go on public display at the National Gallery from tomorrow.

Raymond Keaveney Director of the National Gallery of Ireland describes the painting as a large ambitious late work by Vermeer which tells the story of love and features a painting within a painting. Raymond Keaveney believes that the exhibit will draw visitors from around the world as there only thirty works by Vermeer in existence.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 June 1995. The reporter is Colm Connolly.