Doha International Airport was packed with visitors in the wake of the Van Gogh painting controversy

Detroit – Sheryl Van Wert said she couldn’t understand how a $5 million Vincent van Gogh painting could have disappeared six years before it showed up at the Detroit Institute of Arts, but said she drove 100 miles on Sunday from Saginaw to the museum to see for herself the artwork. which is the subject of a federal lawsuit.

“I thought it was wonderful,” said van Wert of Vincent van Gogh’s painting, “Liseuse De Romans” — also known as “The Novelist Reader” or “The Reading Lady” — an 1888 oil painting by the Dutch Post-Impressionist master. “But how do you lose a painting like that? Someone stole it and it’s been disappearing all this time? Why did it all come out of the blue?”

On Sunday, Doha International Airport was packed with visitors to the Van Gogh exhibition. A line of hundreds of museum-goers showed up for the exhibition across several pavilions at Doha International Airport. At the end of the queue were sisters Kim and Kristen Adams from Dearborn.

Hundreds line up for the exhibition

“I hadn’t even heard of (the controversy) – we’re both just huge Van Gogh fans,” said Kim Adams. “We came to[the immersive Van Gogh exhibition at the TCF Center]last year, and we were going to come here today anyway.”

“But it’s all about … the painting makes it more interesting to come down here,” added Christine Adams.

The controversy over the painting began with a lawsuit filed last week by a Brazilian art collector seeking to recover the rare Van Gogh work. Painting collector Gustavo Sutter claims the painting had disappeared for nearly six years before it was found hanging at the DIA as part of the museum’s exhibition “Van Gogh in America.”

Filed by art brokerage firm Soter, the suit, filed by art brokerage Brokerarte Capital Partners LLC, alleges that years ago there was an international search for the “Liseuse De Romans” painting before it was discovered at Doha International Airport. The suit also insists that it is necessary to return the painting to Sutter before the DIA’s Van Gogh exbibit closes on January 22.

Visitors step into a Van Gogh painting

“Immediate action is urgently needed,” Sutter’s attorney, Aaron Phelps, wrote in the lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. “If DIA transfers the painting or surrenders possession of it to a third party, the plaintiff will lose the opportunity to recover the painting he has been searching for for years.”

A picture of the panel from the DIA screen is attached to the suit. The sign on the artwork display does not mention the owner’s name, but instead says: “Private Collection, São Paulo.”

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