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A Japanese molecular biologist with a love of the works of 17th century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer has been recognized by the museum that houses one of his most renowned paintings.

The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, home to Vermeer’s masterpiece “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” recently named Shinichi Fukuoka, 54, one of 20 aficionados of the artist from around the world.

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