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Van Gogh Museum Cancels Pokémon Partnership Amidst Disturbances

After numerous complaints of disturbances caused by the audience, the Van Gogh Museum has canceled its partnership with Pokémon.

When the partnership between the Van Gogh Museum and the Japanese media giant Pokémon was first announced in mid-September, critics were wary. While the two were widely recognizable names, they were names recognizable in two very different fields. When Van Gogh x Pokémon opened on September 28th, the reception was not what anyone expected.

Van Gogh x Pokémon aimed to place well-known characters from the Pokémon franchise against the backdrop and art style of the Dutch master. This included the character Eevee drawn against sunflower fields –  clear inspiration from Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1889). However, the real prize of the game was also the most well-known character from the Pokémon franchise, Pikachu.

Titled ‘Pikachu With Grey Felt Hat’, the card featured Pikachu drawn similarly to Van Gogh’s self-portrait. When the series first launched, the cards were getting sold online for as high as $1,500. Today, the prices have skyrocketed to up to $7,000.

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Despite this crazy demand, the museum decided to end the Pikachu card series. Officially, the given reason was to create a safer and more enjoyable experience for visitors. However, a BBC report claimed that a few dozen people had earlier swarmed into the museum gift shop and created an unruly situation. Reportedly, the mob was seeking the much sought-after Pikachu cards. It seems that this was the incident that compelled the museum to take this step. However, the Van Gogh Museum made it clear that this was not a permanent end to the series, and the series might resume being sold next year.