It sounded too good to be true: an exhibition of 15 Van Gogh paintings from private collections, never before shown to the public.
Thousands of art lovers snapped up the $7 tickets, and the show’s two promoters collected about $30,000 before they themselves were snapped up by police in this Brittany port town.
“Those paintings were made, for the most part, by ‘Sunday’ painters,” prosecutor Bertrand Lederc said after consulting an expert. He said they were worth between $60 and $600 each - compared with the tens of millions of dollars collectors have paid for genuine Van Goghs.
The promoters face five-year prison sentences and $400,000 fines.