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Long lost Van Gogh painting of French oaks unveiled

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-10

After being stored for more than 100 years by collectors who thought it was a forgery, a work by Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh has finally been authenticated and unveiled in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum on Monday unveiled a rediscovered masterpiece from the Dutch artist, which had spent over a century in storage and was thought to be a fake.

Painted around the same time as Vincent Van Gogh’s world-famous “Sunflowers” and “The Bedroom”, the long-lost painting “Sunset at Montmajour” depicts a landscape of oaks in the south of France.

The work had spent the better part of the last 100 years in the attic of a Norwegian collector who thought the painting was a forgery, after buying it in 1908. It was finally showcased after experts verified its authenticity.

“This is a very, very special morning and you're seeing a very, very happy director in front of you,” The Van Gogh Museum's director, Axel Rueger, told the press on Monday.

On a year-long loan from its owner, the public will get a chance to see the new Van Gogh from September 24 as part of the museum’s recent makeover.

Mystery collectors

Researchers authenticated the work of art based on comparisons with Van Gogh's techniques, style, paint used and a letter he wrote on July 4, 1888, in which he described the painting.

The museum admitted that it had previously been approached by the collector but lacked the technology at the time to authenticate the painting.

The museum declined to be drawn on the identity of the mystery collectors.

“Unfortunately we cannot divulge too much about the identity of this collector as we also need to protect his privacy,” Rueger said.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-09-09

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