Is the Van Gogh Museum Selling Out?


If there’s one thing you can’t blame the Van Gogh Museum for, it’s lack of business acumen. Forget the Sunflowers-adorned mugs and keyrings, the celebrated Amsterdam institution has taken merchandizing to a whole new level.

The museum has teamed up with Fujifilm Belgium to create high-end replicas of nine of the Dutch impressionist’s most famous pieces, including the Sunflowers (1888), Almond Blossom (1890), and The Harvest (1889), using 3D scan and high-resolution printing techniques.

A selection of these pieces—collectively entitled The Van Gogh Museum Relievo Collection—has gone on view at Dubai’s palace hotel Fairmont the Palm, following shows in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Each piece comes with a reported 125,000 AED ($34,031) price tag, and higher edition numbers are expected to be the most-sought after.

It’s hard to imagine what Van Gogh himself would have made of the project, but those in charge of his legacy appear enthusiastic. According to the Khaleej Times, the artist’s great grandnephew, Vincent Willem Van Gogh, and the director of the Van Gogh Museum, Axel Rüger, are hosting the exhibition, which will continue until March 31.

Each replica comes with an “official certificate and background information about the original masterpiece. Whether or not these will develop their own secondary market remains to be seen. But the Emirati newspaper quotes an “exhibition promoter,” who said that if it does, it could be affected by the higher edition numbers in the future.

For more Van Gogh coverage, see Do Riches Await in the Van Gogh Auction Market?, Van Gogh Museum Downplays His “Tortured Genius” ReputationWas van Gogh Killed? New Research Says He Was ShotNew Show Looks at Van Gogh’s Pivotal Belgium Period, and Van Gogh Foundation Opens in 15th Century Mansion.

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