Four Van Gogh Museum employees suspended after Pokémon exhibit chaos


Four employees of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam were suspended due to misconduct during its Pokémon exhibition last year.


Though the museum did not confirm the number of employees involved, it confirmed security guards and public service employees were suspended in mid-December for not adhering to the procedures and codes of conduct for staff.


Sources at the museum told Dutch site Het Parool that at least four employees were involved. One employee allegedly embezzled a box of Pokémon cards, while others informed visitors of when they could purchase tickets to the exhibition.

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A spokesperson for the museum confirmed to Het Parool the employees will not return to the museum. One of those involved worked for the museum for 25 years.


The Pokémon Van Gogh exhibit opened in September and ran until the start of January. It featured six paintings of Pokémon in the style of Van Gogh and offered an exclusive Pikachu trading card plus other merchandise.


However, scalpers quickly descended on the museum, with videos of chaos in the gift shop emerging on social media.


The merchandise was then sold on eBay by scalpers at hugely inflated prices. The trading card — a free add-on for visitors who bought from the collection — was being sold for hundreds of pounds. The museum stopped issuing the cards as a result.


The Pokémon Company later apologised to fans.


«Due to overwhelming demand, all our products from this collection have sold out,» its statement read. «We understand this is disappointing to many who were looking to our official email and social media channels for guidance on how and when to purchase.»

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