Monday, July 26, 2010

How Do People Sleep at Night?

I recently received the following e-mail:

Date: 6/29/10
Subject: Van gogh painting

H r u?

A friend of mine had a painting of Van Gogh which is not in your list but has been Authenticated by Van Gogh Museum Research Department on Dec 08, 2008 titled as "The Princess" with registration no. 1.008.928. If u are interested i can give further information about that. Pls let me know.


This, of course, sounded suspicious, but I nevertheless invited the writer to send me images which I attach to this blog posting.

Over more than 15 years on working on my Van Gogh Gallery website I've received a number of e-mails like this. But this one was especially striking in terms of its stupidity (it's obviously not a Van Gogh--more likely a copy of a painting by Ingres). And the clumsiness of the certificate of "authenticity" boggles the mind.

The writer, of course, wanted help in selling this treasure. I sent him packing. What sort of people do this kind of thing? Nigerian e-mail spammers, dishonest roofers that tell the frail old lady that her (perfectly sound) roof is in immediate need of repair . . . . or people trying to sell flea market garbage as genuine art works.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would never be taken in by such amateurish deception. All the same, I think it's a good idea that people were made aware of these sorts of deceitful tactics.

Caveat emptor!

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