The owner of a controversial artwork, 'Still Life with Peonies', might be very rich, after DNA testing of a hair found in the painting is complete.
A three inch long red human hair, found in the painting, probably belongs to the artist who painted it.
DNA testing will be used to compare the DNA in the hair with that of Van Gogh's living descendants, to confirm whether this is a valuable masterpiece by the Dutch master. Ester Monnik, the conservation expert who lifted the hair off the painting, feels this testing will leave little doubt as to its authenticity.
If the painting is found to be genuine, it could be worth as much as $60 million.
The painting, “Still Life with Peonies”, dated 1889, was discovered in a Belgian attic in 1977. For over four decades mystery has surrounded the painting. It was inherited by Markus Roubrocks from his father. Roubrocks, a Cologne art collector, now wants to prove that he owns one of the later works of Van Gogh, who took his own life in 1890.
Two independent art experts say that it is likely to be Van Gogh's work, but the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam is not convinced, stating that the brush strokes are nothing like Van Gogh's.
Hopefully the mystery will be solved once the DNA results come back on the hair, and Roubrocks will then know if he is very rich, or not.