Museum threatened with lawsuit over Van Gogh sketchbook

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is facing legal action after it dismissed a sketchbook allegedly belonging to the Dutch artist as a fake.

The discovery of the album of 65 drawings purported to be by Van Gogh was made in 2013 by art historian Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov who believes it was used by the artist on his travels in the south of France. When the drawings were unveiled at a press conference in Paris in November this year the Van Gogh Museum quickly released a statement entitled “Found Sketchbook With Drawings Is Not By Van Gogh, According to Van Gogh Museum”. Now Le Seuil, the publishing house behind Welsh-Ovcharov’s new book on the drawings “Vincent Van Gogh, the Fog of Arles: the Rediscovered Sketchbook”, has hit back at the museum by threatening to initiate a lawsuit. Continue reading

Italian police recover two stolen Van Gogh paintings

Two paintings by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh stolen from an Amsterdam museum over a decade ago have been recovered in seaside town in Italy.

‘Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church’ (1884) and ‘View of the Sea at Scheveningen’ (1882) are collectively valued at £77 million. They are examples of Van Gogh’s early work with the Scheveningen piece one of just two Dutch seascapes ever made by the artist. In December 2002, thieves used a ladder to climb to the roof of the Van Gogh Museum and broke in undetected by cameras. Octave ‘The Monkey’ Durham and his accomplice Henk Bieslijn removed the works from the walls of the main exhibition hall in minutes and escaped the scene by sliding down a rope. The notorious heist made the FBI’s list of “top 10” art crimes and baffled experts because security guards had been on patrol at the time of the raid. In 2004 the art thieves were convicted of theft after police discovered their DNA at the scene of the crime but the artworks were never found. Continue reading