French court rules Van Gogh painting genuine

26th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 25 (AFP) - France's highest court ruled Tuesday that the Vincent Van Gogh painting "Garden in Auvers" was genuine, bringing to a close a decade-long saga over the work.

PARIS, May 25 (AFP) - France's highest court ruled Tuesday that the Vincent Van Gogh painting "Garden in Auvers" was genuine, bringing to a close a decade-long saga over the work.

The painting, one of the last the Dutch artist completed, has been dogged by reports questioning its authenticity.

The banker Jean-Marc Vernes acquired the late 19th-century landscape painting in 1992 for EUR 8.8 million (USD 10.6 million). He died in 1996.

His heirs tried to sell the painting at an auction the same year, but it remained without a buyer, possibly because of press reports casting doubt on its authenticity.

In 1998 the heirs filed a suit claiming that the previous owner had knowingly withheld information about the painting.

But the court rejected their claim, basing its ruling on findings by France's central research laboratory that the painting was genuine.

In the 1980s "Garden in Auvers" was already making headlines here, when authorities classified it a national treasure after its then owner, Jacques Walter, attempted to take it abroad.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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