London, August 9: A strand of human hair that may have belonged to Vincent van Gogh has been removed from a painting in an attempt to prove or disprove whether he painted the work of art.
The three inch long, red hair has been lifted from ‘Still Life with Peonies’ and DNA samples taken from it are to be compared with those from the celebrated painter’s living relatives.
If confirmed a Van Gogh, the painting could fetch a value of 39 million pounds and turn Cologne art collector Markus Roubrocks, its owner, a multi millionaire.
The bright painting of a vase of multicoloured peonies resting on a wooden floor was discovered in a Belgian attic in 1977, and since then debate has raged in the art world whether or not it is the work of the Dutch master.
Roubrocks, who inherited the painting from his father, has always argued it is an original Van Gogh dating from the spring of 1889 just a year before the artist took his own life.
Two independent art experts who examined the picture independently backed his claim, but the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam had contested the claim saying the brush strokes are inconsistent with Van Gogh’s style, and therefore the painting is nothing more than an expert piece of forgery.
Ester Monnik, the conservation expert who lifted the hair off the painting, doesn’t doubt that it belongs to the creator of the work, whoever it might be.
“It must have come from the artist because it was so deeply embedded in the painting under layers of paint,” Telegraph quoted her as saying.
Barely visible to the naked eye, the hair had long gone unnoticed. (ANI)