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An Australian artist who posed as Vincent van Gogh outside an exhibition showcasing the Dutch painter's work received an overwhelming response.

Hundreds of people visiting the National Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, to see the largest -ever collection of the Dutch master's work were delighted when the Van Gogh lookalike offered to take a selfie with them.

Within minutes of putting out his sign which read 'Free: Take a selfie with van Gogh (lookalike)', crowds started forming.

"I had tiers of people lining up to take a selfie with me. After the first person did it, it was non-stop. I was getting hugs from random strangers," Butterworth told the BBC.

He posed for 147 selfies in just over 90 minutes with people of all different ages and nationalities. He shared several selfies on his Instagram account, not_van_gogh, following his day outside the gallery.

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Butterworth said people frequently tell him he resembles the 19th century painter, who tragically spent his final years locked away in a mental institution in the south of France.

"I'd underestimated the love that people have for Van Gogh," he said. "I know he's clearly popular, but there's something about his tragic story that people really connect with."

He added that his project was more than just a frivolous idea and that he hoped his message would resonate with people.

"We live in the age of selfie and celebrity, and Van Gogh is now more a celebrity than he is painter, so I thought it was a perfect combination of those concepts."

He plans on returning to the gallery to take more pictures with visitors before the exhibition closes on 9 July.

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