I've been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and I was a little disappointed because there were no pictures of some of his most famous work - "The Starry Night" and "Starry Night Over the Rhône".

Well, it is well known that Van Gogh artwork is in public domain, according to this question.

And I also know that these artworks are in the MoMA (New York City) and in the Musée D'Orsay (Paris). But why can't the museum use a replica? Or sell derived artwork in the museum shop? Or in the art books sold there? Or even tell us about these paintings during the history and life of Van Gogh presented in the museum?

It was like these paintings never existed!

  • You're asking about the van Gogh Museum's policy, I take it: why don't they just buy a reproduction? Legally, they could.
    – user6726
    Oct 27, 2019 at 19:39
  • 3
    You seem to be assuming that there are legal restrictions preventing the museum from doing these things. I don't think that's the case - they could legally if they wanted to, but they don't want to. Why they don't want to is outside the scope of this site. Oct 27, 2019 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


There isn’t a legal restriction

Which is to say they could show replica’s if they wanted to; they just don’t want to. This is fairly typical - art museums display art, not reproductions of art. They also tend to be interested in displaying the art they have, not telling the life story of the artist.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .