Van Gogh museum staff suspended over Pokémon cards

Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum - Pikachu - Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat - Vincent van Gogh

At least four members of staff at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have been suspended for “incidents” that occurred during an exhibition that involved Van Gogh inspired Pokémon cards, the Parool reported on Wednesday.

The exhibition, which linked Van Gogh to the Japanese cartoon phenomenon and featured a rare Pikachu card that fans could add to their collection, sparked a mad hunt for the cards by collectors and fans.

Tickets for the exhibition, which started in September, were sold out for weeks, and sell-on prices for the cards went through the roof, causing the museum to stop issuing them in October.

The paper was told about the measure against the members of staff by anonymous tipsters still working at the museum.

The suspended workers, including a person who had worked at the museum for 25 years, had tipped off members of the public about when the cards could be bought, the paper said. One member of staff even reportedly stole a complete box of the cards.

A museum spokesman confirmed that several people, some of whom worked in the wardrobe department and ticket sales, had “breached procedures and protocols” in what the museum said it considered to be “an incident”.

A later piece by broadcaster NOS, which said the staff involved had been “fired” could not be confirmed. “The museum does not comment on individual cases,” a spokesman told Dutch News.

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