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36

As the results of the VGM could not be reconciled with the

eight previous reports, I placed order to Jägers laboratory

Erhard Jägers microanalytical laboratory in Bornheim,

Germany. He is one of the experts who treated the case

of the scandal surrounding art counterfeiter Wolfgang

Beltracchi, unmasked him. A leading research institute in

Germany for internationally recognized art goods.

And his lab confirmed that VGM’s expertise was flawed.

A short time later I presented the laboratory report to

the then responsible Mr. Louis van Tilborgh in the VGM

personally. Mr van Tilborgh stated that he had to think about

new facts and that I should come back. But it did not come

to that, I was not admitted to Mr van Tilborgh and roughly

led out of the museum. Then they sent me a contract for

revaluation. Since at that time the Jägers Laboratory was

working on a statement against the expertise of the VGM,

I replied to the museum that one should withdraw the

catastrophic expertise of 2001 and acknowledge my

painting. The VGM just replied that they did not want to

talk about the case anymore. Even after transmission

of the Jägers opinion to the VGM there was no further

reaction. In 2005, I signed the contract for revaluation by

the VGM on the advice of my lawyer. The VGM did not

want to decide on my case even after this step.

Exterior, the new building of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

(Photo © A. Chahil.)

In 1991, a prominent case occurred which was also

related to the VGM. At that time they declared the

submitted work “Sunset at Montmajour” from the

year 1888 as a fake. In 2013 they took more detailed

examinations, i.a. by adding further historical evidence

attesting that the work exists in this form – and finally

declared it as real. The situation is not easy for art

scientists. Already in the first three decades after Van

Gogh’s death (1890), there were forgeries and painters

who benevolently copied his then fashionable style.

The boom of the new, purely capital-oriented art market

of the 1980s has also contributed to the fact, that

criminals operate with the help by a professional network

and invest great effort to produce the best possible and

almost laboratory-safe fakes.

The Dutch painter and draftsman Vincent Willem van

Gogh (1853-1890) is regarded in the history of art as an

influential pioneer of modernism. According to current

research Van Gogh left an oeuvre of about 864 paintings

and more than 1000 drawings, most of which have been

made within the last 10 years of his life.

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