Epic Art Frauds
Works of art and antiques have always attracted people’s attention as a way to make alternative investments. Statistics show that in 2018, sales of works of art and antiques worldwide amounted to 63.7 billion euros. And this market continues to grow. Buyer beware as there are unscrupulous Epic Art Frauds out there.
Shah, which accounts for about 40 percent of all transactions in the market of works of art and antiques, is at the top of the list. They are followed by the UK – 27 percent of global sales. France – 6.4 percent, Germany – 2.9 percent of the world market.
Russian experts believe that the average annual increase in the value of collectible works of art is from 30% to 50%. And the growth in the value of works of art of the second half of the twentieth century over the past 15 years was 700%. So it is quite natural that cheaters do not pay attention to the art market, which promises such high income.
Epic Art Frauds – Modern falsifiers
The increase in the number of wealthy people willing to invest in works of art and antiques only fuels the “appetite” of crooks. According to some estimates, in private Russian collections at least a third of the fakes. According to others, in 8-10% of transactions on the art market are fakes.
Moreover, the act of examination – a mandatory document in the transaction – does not always become a guarantee of protection from the new model. The world of arts is periodically shaken by scandals caused by the discovery of new fakes, the authenticity of which was certified by experts with high-profile names. So, for example, in 1965 it turned out that the portrait of Count Wellington in the London National Gallery attributed to Goya, – an ordinary fake. In 1976, a similar case occurred at the Corneille Museum, when it became clear that their collection contains counterfeit works by Corot. This artist for all his life has written about 600 paintings, but only in the American art market, there are at least three thousand of his works. According to other data in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, only eighteen of the 66 objects of utensils of 8-thousand years ago, brought from excavations in Turkey, are really ancient.
Believe it or not, today Sotheby’s – one of the largest art auctions – gives a guarantee of attribution for art objects sold from the auction only for two years! By the way, it was an extraordinary episode between Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Swiss freeport magnate Yves Bouvier and Sotheby’s which estimates about 80 million $.
And, finally, American celebrity actor Robert De Niro lost $984,000 to Lawrence Salander. Salander without the knowledge of the actor realized several pictures painted by the father of a movie star, made in the style of expressionists.
A sensational statement in 1976 was made by the Englishman Tom Keating. He organized a press conference to tell journalists about the prevalence of fake paintings in galleries, which are considered masterpieces of world painting. In the same place, he said that these fakes were his own. “When I was a young man, I had to take exams twice at a higher art school, but I was never accepted. Now you see that all these experts and great gallery owners are the most ordinary dilettantes” he said. Keating is a kind of genius – he skillfully copied Rembrandt, Modigliani, Renoir, Degas and other famous masters. A little later Keating wrote a book in which he detailed the technical aspects of counterfeiting paintings. The speed of his work impressed art historians and ordinary viewers. On the air of one of the TV programs Keating forged Palmer in half an hour. Then followed the arrest. His guilt in court, he did not admit, and only noted, engaged in fraud to excite the art market. By the way, the court, taking into account the poor health of the artist, did not pass a sentence on him.