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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006, 11:16 GMT
Two museum Rembrandts 'are fake'
Two oil paintings purported to have been the work of Rembrandt have been shown to be fakes, the director of the museum where they are kept has said.

The works were donated to the municipal museum in Faro, southern Portugal, in 1944 and were displayed for 25 years despite doubts over their authenticity.

Tests have now shown the 17th Century Dutch master could not have painted them, Dalia Paulo told AFP news agency.

This was because they used pigments not available until the 19th Century.

Anniversary plans

The paintings, one a supposed self-portrait of Rembrandt and the other said to depict one of his friends, were donated to the state-run museum by Portuguese diplomat Amadeu Ferreira de Almeida.

They were on display at the museum, which was visited by 22,000 people last year, from 1973 until 1998. They were not tested for authenticity until last year.

Ms Paulo said: "We felt it was time to have the tests done. We could not delay any longer."

The 112-year-old museum plans to put the "fake" self-portrait back on display in July to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth.

The museum's collection includes several works by European painters of the 16th to 19th Centuries, as well as a large collection of Islamic art and Roman mosaics.

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