Greek woman claims lost Van Gogh notebook

Jan. 1, 2008 at 2:28 PM
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ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The daughter of a Greek resistance fighter has been declared the rightful owner of a sketchbook believed to have belonged to Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh.

The notebook, which has not been authenticated, has been stashed away in an Athens bank vault since the Greek resistance seized it, along with a framed photograph of Van Gogh, during a raid on a Nazi supply train as the Germans pulled out of Greece at the end of World War II, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

Greek law recognizes Doretta Peppa, the daughter of one of the resistance fighters, as the owner of the book, which contains intricate renderings of figures in Van Gogh's masterpieces "The Potato Eaters" and "Portrait of Pere Tanguy."

Peppa, a writer, said she thinks the rare portfolio, which has been missing since World War I, might sell for more than $5 million at auction.

"It's an inheritance from my father and no one asked for it," she told The Telegraph. "It's mine."

A representative for the Vincent Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam said it is aware of the sketchbook's existence, but noted no decision regarding its authenticity has been made available.

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