Van Gogh's suicide weapon heading to Amsterdam

The weapon believed to be the one Vincent van Gogh used to commit suicide in 1890, surfaced in France and will be on display to the public for the first time in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from Friday, NOS reports.

The revolver will be displayed as part of an exhibit titled De waanzin nabij, or On the verge of insanity in English. Its existence has been known to only a small circle of Van Gogh experts for a few years. The gun - a Lefaucheux à broche, which was a popular model at the time - was found in a field outside Auvers, where Van Gogh committed suicide at the age of 37.

Research showed that the heavily rusted revolver spent between 50 and 80 years underground. According to the broadcaster, that could match the believed suicide date of Van Gogh of July 27th, 1890 as it would take years for a weapon lying on the grass to be submerged in the ground. The gun's safety was also not turned on, leading to the belief that it was fired.

Experts also claim that the revolver was not really suited for suicide as it did not have enough firepower. This could explain why Van Gogh did not die on the spot, but only two days later.

"It is impossible to say with 100 percent certainty", Teio Meedendorp of the Van Gogh Museum acknowledged to NOS. "But all these arguments give us something to think about."