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This "soap opera" has unfolded around Van Dijk's supposed canvas.

A story worthy of a dramatic series unfolds around the supposed picture of Anthony van Dyck. Among the actors are undercover policemen, unscrupulous businessmen, bandits, fraudsters cheating each other, and a family that has become a victim of crooks. And, of course, journalists who are promoting an interesting story.Self-portrait with sunflower Antonis van Dijk1632, 73 × 60 cmAll began with the fact that two men were arrested in Turkey who were accused of smuggling a painting allegedly belonging to an outstanding 17th-century Flemish painter's brush. Undercover police officers confiscated the canvas from a pair of entrepreneurs who asked for it 14 million lire ($ 4.6 million). Sellers were arrested in a luxury hotel in the historic part of Istanbul, where they tried to make a deal. The product they bought from a criminal group for 200 thousand dollars, according to France-Presse.Turkish authorities have published a photo of the seized work. It depicts a topless woman with a raised hand surrounded by two more characters. Officials did not go into details of the origin of the canvas, but according to the local newspaper Hürriyet, experts suspect that this is the lost original by van Dyck. If so, then its price can be expressed as a seven-digit number. Photo: news.artnet.com Meanwhile, the potential treasure has already been announced by applicants. Georgian news agency InterpressNews reports that a local resident Eka Abashidze told Rustavi-2 that a picture of her brother, George, bought a picture 15 years ago for 5,000 dollars. The canvas, as stated, arrived in Georgia through Russia.Samson and Dalila Antonis van Dijk1620, 152.3 × 232 cm In 2010, the owner decided to sell the canvas, and agreed with two businessmen for 37 thousand dollars, but he received only 7 thousand. He appealed to the court, which satisfied the claim. Now the Abashidze family demands this painting on the grounds that they have been deceived by it. But one of the buyers claims that “the picture is actually ours,” but it was stolen by a friend’s son while she was kept in Turkey. However, the Georgian government denies that the product is somehow connected with the country.

Anthony van Dyck is considered one of the greatest portrait painters of all time. He was knighted by the British king Charles I. The artist painted about 800 paintings until his death in 1641 at the age of 42.
Left: Anthony van Dyck, Self-Portrait (1622). State Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Based on news.artnet.com and artdaily.com