Was Van Gogh shot? Museum doubts new theory, sticks with suicide
Monday 17 October 2011
Experts from the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam say they are not convinced by claims made in a new book that Vincent van Gogh was shot by teenagers in the village where he lived, website nu.nl reports on Monday.
The new biography of Van Gogh, written by Pulitzer prize-winners Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, goes against the accepted theory that the artist committed suicide.
They say the artist claimed to have shot himself to protect the boys, and that 'he was covering up his own murder.' Van Gogh, who suffered from severe depression, died two days after the shooting.
The authors back up their claim by arguing the gun used to shoot Van Gogh was never found. They also draw heavily on a statement made by a 16-year-old boy at the time.
But the museum's curator Leo Jansen told nu.nl the findings are not sufficiently supported by the facts.
'The interpretation is interesting but there are still a lot of unanswered questions,' he said. 'The museum thinks it is too early to change the cause of death from suicide.'
Jansen also praised the book, which is based on a review of existing material, for offering new insights into his life and family.