Two Rembrandt paintings in Poland declared authentic

A Dutch expert has confirmed that two paintings, part of Warsaw's royal palace collection, are authentic works by the famous 17th-century artist Rembrandt, a Polish art official said on Tuesday.

The conclusion reached by the expert, Ernst van den Wetering, puts an end to the uproar over whether they were genuine works by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), which art historians have been insisting on since 1969.

"Polish art historians, convinced that they were Rembrandt paintings, still wanted to get the opinion of professsor van den Wetering, who is considered the top Rembrandt expert," said Regina Dmowska, who is in charge of restoring the artworks.

The Dutch expert made two visits to Warsaw and this week reached a positive conclusion that "they were indeed Rembrandt works," she said.

She said the two paintings were signed but that was not the basis for declaring the authenticity of the works. "It was the style of Rembrandt's painting," she said.

Once the restoration is completed, the paintings will be sent to Amsterdam to be displayed in the Rembrandt House Museum starting April 1. Afterwards they will be shown in Berlin at the Gemaldegalerie der Staatlichen Museum.

A number of exhibits have been organized this year to mark the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, starting with the opening a few days ago at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

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