Gauguin 'cut off Van Gogh's ear'
Van Gogh famously painted a self-portrait with his ear bandaged
Vincent van Gogh did not cut off his own ear but lost it in a fight with fellow artist Paul Gauguin in a row outside a brothel, it has been claimed.
It has long been accepted that the mentally ill Dutch painter cut off his own ear with a razor after the row in Arles, southern France, in 1888.
But a new book, based on the original police investigation, claims Gauguin swiped Van Gogh's ear with a sword.
The authors argue the official version of events contains inconsistencies.
The book, titled In Van Gogh's Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence, is the product of 10 years of research by German academics Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans.
They looked at witness accounts and letters sent by the two artists, concluding that the row ended with Gauguin - a keen fencer - cutting his friend's ear off.
Van Gogh then apparently wrapped it in cloth and handed it to a prostitute, called Rachel.
Mr Kaufmann said it was not clear whether it was an accident or a deliberate attempt to injure Van Gogh, but afterwards both men agreed to tell the police the self-harm story to protect Gauguin.
He said the traditional version of events is based on contradictory and improbable evidence, and no independent witness statement exists.
"Gauguin was not present at the supposed self-mutilation," he told Le Figaro newspaper in France.
"As for Van Gogh, he didn't confirm anything. Their behaviour afterwards and various suggestions by the protagonists indicate they were hiding the truth."
Gauguin later moved to Tahiti, where he produced some of his most famous works. Van Gogh died in 1890 after shooting himself in the chest.
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Art student's car vanishing act
Sara Watson took three weeks to transform the car
A design student made a battered old Skoda "disappear" by painting it to merge with the surrounding car park.
Sara Watson, who is studying drawing at the University of Central Lancashire (Uclan), took three weeks to transform the car's appearance.
She created the illusion in the car park outside her studio at Uclan's Hanover Building in Preston.
The car is now being used for advertising by the local recycling firm that donated the vehicle.
Ms Watson, a second year student, said: "I was experimenting with the whole concept of illusion but needed something a bit more physical to make a real impact."
She was given the Skoda Fabia from the breaker's yard at local firm Recycling Lives.
Owner Steve Jackson described her work as "amazing".
"When I first saw the photos I was convinced it was something which had been done on the computer," said Mr Jackson.
"But when you look more closely you see the effort and attention to detail she has put into it. It is just amazing."