Art: Truth & Consequences

To Dutch Painter Hans van Meegeren, the fire felt better than the frying pan.

He was accused of being a collaborationist because he had sold Hermann Göring a priceless Vermeer. Van Meegeren pleaded guilty to forging the picture: instead of trafficking with the enemy, he had tricked him. And Göring, had been only one of his victims : Van Meegeren confessed that six "Vermeers" and several "Pieter de Hoochs" lining the Palace of Justice walls were really the work of his hand. Last week Forger Van Meegeren was sentenced to a year in jail.

Five world-famous authorities had originally certified the genuineness of...

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