Art Restoration: Murder of a Masterpiece?

Murder of a Masterpiece?

American Modernist Barnett Newman's giant abstract painting Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III was the pride of Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum before a vandal slashed it in 1986. At the time, the painting was valued at $3.1 million. Last August, after U.S. art restorer Daniel Goldreyer repaired the damage for a fee of $300,000, Who's Afraid was again put on display. Now Dutch art experts are seeing red. Amsterdam art historian Ernst van de Wetering has charged that Goldreyer covered the entire canvas using a roller rather than reproducing Newman's brushstrokes.

After microscopic tests on Newman's work, a Dutch laboratory...

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