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.