Dutch farmer facing jail time for trying to sell a fake Van Gogh

A man named Kerst W. is facing a prison sentence of 11 months for (accidentally?) attempting to sell a fake Van Gogh. 👨‍🎨🎨

The farmer from Wanneperveen — a small village near Giethoorn — had in his possession a falsified preliminary study of Van Gogh’s The Harvest, worth €250.

The Van Gogh Museum informed him by letter that, “it was not an authentic work by Van Gogh.” 🙅

However, in said letter from the museum, the word “not” had been left out of the sentence. Instead, the letter appeared to say that the work was authentic.

As a result, the farmer showed the museum’s letter along with the painting and asked for €15 million for the work. 😱

Unfair sentence?

According to RTV Oost, Kerst claims that he believed the work was authentic and denies committing fraud.

He said that he isn’t good with computers and processing systems and also stated, “Someone else manages my mail and stuff.”

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecution Service wants Kerst to serve a sentence of almost a year for the fraud.

Kerst’s counsel, Cees Korvinus, thinks the sentence is too harsh for his client. “No one was harmed because it soon became clear that it was about false papers. My client acted naive at most,” he says.

In two weeks, Kerst will find out what his sentence will be and whether he will go to prison.

What do you think? Was it an innocent mistake? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Dutchlight/Depositphotos

Nicole Ogden
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


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