ELAZIĞ, Turkey: A Turkish tradesperson living in the eastern Turkish province of Elazığ has asserted that he bought a painting by famed Spanish artist Salvador Dali from a local antique shop. Claiming to have discovered the painting belongs to Dali after carrying out extensive research, the citizen has put the artwork up for sale for 5 million euros ($5.2 million).
Ibrahim Solmaz, a father of two, works as a tradesperson in the food industry in Elazığ. Visiting his friend’s antique shop in the city one day, Solmaz was there when a woman sold a painting to his friend. When the woman said, “Know the value of this painting” to the antique dealer while leaving, Solmaz, who has been an art lover since childhood, bought the painting immediately.
Solmaz later started to examine the painting and determined that it belongs to Dali, who is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Carrying out extensive research to be sure, he began to compare Dali’s verified paintings with the painting that he bought. Solmaz realized that Dali’s self-portrait appears in the Dali signature at the bottom of the painting when he inspected it under ultraviolet light. In his comparisons, the tradesman noticed that there were the same figures and patterns in Dali’s other paintings.
Solmaz also asked antique dealers their opinions on its authenticity. Deducing that the painting is one of the mysterious works of Dali after all, he announced that he was putting the painting up for sale for 5 million euros.
Explaining his research, Solmaz said: “When I examined the painting with ultraviolet lights on a high-resolution screen, I saw that there were some x marks in the painting, and Dali’s portrait appeared in his signature. After examining Dali’s paintings on the internet, I also recognized the brushstrokes on them match with my artwork.”
Implying that he wants to sell the painting and is waiting for buyers, Solmaz added: “The paintings of Dali are generally sold for 15.8 million euros. I want 5 million euros for my painting.”
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