Man busted selling fake Van Gogh for millions
The police arrested a 56 year old man from Wanneperveen on Tuesday for trying to sell a fake Van Gogh painting for 15 million euros. The man claimed that the painting is a pre-study for Van Gogh's "The Harvest" and used fake documents, with the name and logo of the Van Gogh museum, to prove its authenticity.
The police became aware of this case when a commissioner filed a report of attempted fraud and forgery in June. He had been offered the painting along with an authenticity document and a confirmation letter in the name of the Van Gogh Museum. The letter stated that this work can, in the museum's opinion, be attributed to Vincent van Gogh.
The man went to the museum to check the validity of the documents, and it turned out that they wer forged. The museum also pressed charges.
The painting was also offered for sale internationally and interest was shown from several countries. The offer claims that the painting is part of the Van Gogh Museum's permanent collection.
The police and the Public Prosecutor launched an investigation and found that the painting was being stored in a safe in Hilversum. The canvas was confiscated, the suspect was arrested and his house was searched.
The Public Prosecutor is charging the man with forgery and attempted fraud. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests may follow.