March 7, 2012

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ART AND COUNTERFEIT ART:

Ringleader Reveals He Faked Many More Works (Andreas Teichmann, 3/07/12, Der Spiegel)

In October 2011, what is likely Germany's biggest-ever postwar art scandal came to an end when forger Wolfgang Beltracchi was sentenced to six years in prison. As the ringleader of the operation, he was found guilty of counterfeiting 14 paintings by six well-known artists including Heinrich Campendonk, Fernand Léger and Max Ernst, costing damages of an estimated €34 million ($45 million).

Beltracchi and three accomplices were sentenced after just nine days at the Cologne District Court, with the defendants receiving shorter sentences in exchange for full confessions. But in a SPIEGEL interview the 61-year-old has now admitted to creating phoney works by "about 50" different artists.

Speaking to the media for the first time since he was sentenced, Beltracchi refused to name the exact number of paintings he forged throughout his career, which he began in the 1970s by creating "unpainted works by old masters, and later Jugendstil and Expressionists" and selling them at flea markets. But during the interview with SPIEGEL, Beltracchi said that due to high demand, he could have easily put "1,000 or 2,000" forgeries on the art market.

Posted by at March 7, 2012 6:16 PM
  

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