Museum of Fine Arts rejects Monet painting for second time

The late Dutch royal’s last painting is said to be the most expensive in history

For the second time in four days, a historic painting that has become the most expensive artwork in history has been rejected by Amsterdam’s Museum of Fine Arts.

The museum casts fresh doubt on the authenticity of the painting, by French impressionist Claude Monet. It first came to light in 2013, selling in Singapore for $450m (£357m).

The museum accepted the painting only after it received a recorded 14,630,000 euro (£11,500,000) payment from a buyer.

BBC News says the museum has released the painting back to its previous owner.

The museum is yet to explain what happens next.

‘Greater evidence’

It says the painting was unveiled in Amsterdam only after agreeing with the owner, who originally bought it for £250,000 in 1958, to pay him 14.6m euros – despite the painting not being on public display.

“This book, the valuation documents, the buyer’s identity, also the reports of the lead gallery and the authentication of the painting by all the experts who accompanied us on the exhibition, did not provide us with the greatest evidence for the provenance of the painting,” a spokesman said.

“A book and proof of provenance have now been obtained to definitively validate the title of the painting.”

The painting, which was the last work by the Dutch royal artist, Edgar Degas, is believed to have been painted after Monet’s death in 1926.

Debris surrounding it could be seen in 2013, when US billionaires Terry Gou and Tony Fadell paid $52m for it – despite only having seen a sketch of it.

In March, the previous buyer of the picture, Singapore businessman Yeo Sock Seng, said it could have been painted by Monet himself.

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