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De Kringloper thrift store in Nardin wonders whether among the items collected last year was a valuable painting by French Expressionist Chaim Soutine (1893-1943).
Rob Mulders, auctioneer and former art expert, was impressed. “I knew right away: If this is an original Chaim Soutine painting, it’s worth a lot of money,” he says in NH News.
But it is not yet clear whether the painting was actually painted by Soutine. Because it is not certain where the painting came from and whether it is a stolen artwork, De Kringloper has withdrawn it from the company’s upcoming auction. He is being temporarily housed in a secret location, according to reports New Hampshire News .
At De Kringloper, like any thrift store, items arrive via an assembly line. Sometimes the household influences are complete, often also individual “pieces”. Since valuable items are also brought in on a regular basis, De Kringloper has been holding an annual auction for twenty years.
Just before this auction, the store always asks for help from one of the appraisers from the TV show Between art and kitsch Or another expert Who evaluates whether the pieces are actually valuable and may estimate or set a price. In this case it was Mölders who made the big statement that the painting could be real. But he could not provide one hundred percent certainty.
World War II
At the same time, another question arose: What if the painting was indeed Soutine’s, but was stolen during or after World War II and then resold? In this case, the art is stolen and auctioning off the painting at Nardin could mean recovery.
There is a note on the back of the work: a receipt stating that it was sold for 8,500 guilders to an unknown person. It happened in 1948 in Breda. The receipt also states that it is a Soutine from 1937. The paper may be fake, but according to thrift store manager Ivo Kurti, it appears credible at first glance.
All these doubts made Kurti decide not to put the painting up for auction at the present time, which was his bidding day today.
There is no budget for research
The question is what will happen now. Between art and kitsch The program said it had no experts in the field of French Jewish artists like Soutine. De Kringloper is now looking for an expert who can determine the authenticity of the painting and whether it is indeed a stolen piece of art.
But that won’t be easy. “In any case, it will take months to find out whether a painting is stolen, and if you want to know whether a painting is real or not, it will cost tens of thousands of euros,” said company director Mariette Hoff. According to her, the store doesn’t have the budget for it.
Director Kurti announces that if it turns out to be indeed a Soutine painting, the painting will be auctioned off. But not when it comes to stolen art. “Then it’s not ours, and we have to look for the rightful owner,” said Director Kurti. “It won’t be easy, but there are experts in that too.”
Until then, the painting was stored in a secret location. Director Hof confirms that he is not at De Kringloper and is not in the office. Because at best, this painting is worth tons.
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