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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Van Gogh 'fake' row re-ignites
Many Van Gogh paintings are displayed in Amsterdam
A controversy about one of Van Gogh's Sunflowers paintings has been re-ignited by an Italian art magazine.

The Italian journal Quadri e Sculture says that the "Yasuda" Sunflowers, bought by the Japanese company Yasuda in 1987 for nearly 25m, is a fake.

The painting has attracted a circle of people who are trying to prove it's a fake

National Gallery spokesman
The magazine has reprinted theories that the work was actually painted by Van Gogh's friend, artist Paul Gauguin - copying a Van Gogh original.

But the National Gallery in London - where the painting used to hang - has disputed the claim.

"The version of the Sunflowers belonging to the Yasuda Fire and Marine Insurance Company hung on our wall for more than 10 years and its authenticity was never questioned," a gallery spokesman told BBC News Online.

However the article's author Antonio de Robertis says that between 1888 and 1889 Gauguin tried to borrow one of the original Sunflowers but was refused.

'Valuable assistance'

Gauguin, de Robertis believes, then borrowed the painting "on the quiet" and made his own copy.

Quadri e Sculture has said that their investigation was supported by "valuable assistance" from London's National Gallery.

But the National Gallery told BBC News Online that it has had no contact with the magazine.

A National Gallery spokesman said: "Since the painting sold for an astronomical price it has attracted a circle of people who are trying to prove it's a fake.

"The picture will be reunited with our Sunflowers, and the Sunflowers from the Amsterdam Van Gogh museum, in an exhibition there this winter.

"This will be the first time they have been seen together in a long time and people will be able to see that the Yasuda Sunflowers is fine."

See also:

08 Mar 01 | Europe
Star dates Van Gogh canvas
27 Jul 99 | Entertainment
$82m Van Gogh painting missing
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