Art: Collector's Item

Deep in his heart, every art collector yearns to pick up a painting for a few dollars, dust it off and discover it is really a long-lost old master. For one collector, the wish has come true. In Johannesburg, Businessman (tire-recapping) Maurice Hirsch poked around at a local auction sale and bought for $375 a painting he thought "looked good." Local collectors were doubtful, but Hirsch sent detail photographs of the painting to Belgian Historian Leo van Puyvelde. The verdict: Van Puyvelde had examined that very painting before in 1937. It is, he wrote, L'Erection de la Croix, a "genuine work...

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