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Hans van Meegeren: Meeger Explanation?

The art dealer Hans van Meegeren once sold a painting by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer to Nazi leader Hermann Goering (who bought it to pass on to Adolf Hitler). Following the end of World War II, Van Meegeren was indicted for treason by the postwar Dutch government for sending a national treasure out of the country.

Van Meegeren produced a remarkable defense. Nothing of value had left the Netherlands, he claimed: the painting was one of his own creations, produced to fool the snobby experts who had doubted his own artistic ability.

Incredibly, Van Meegeren proved his claim by painting another "lost Vermeer" during his trial. He was promptly acquitted of treason -- and imprisoned for forgery.

[The famed forger Madame Claude Latour was so skilled that some of her depictions of Parisian streets in the style of Maurice Utrillo fooled Utrillo himself, who later confessed that even he was unsure which paintings were his and which were Latour's.]

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