A few weeks ago some interesting speculation started circulating about the possibility of a new forgery operation in Germany, which was home to the now-infamous Wolfgang Beltracchi. Beltracchi successfully fooled buyers for years with forged Expressionist and Modernist paintings, going so far as to invent a fictional “Jäger Collection” (including a staged photograph of Beltracchi’s wife purporting to show a painting on the wall of an ancestors home). The most interesting thing about the current story is that it is impossible to tell yet whether there is really a problem; the most detailed efforts to date have been unable to confirm whether Kurt Waldmann, the artist in question, even existed. Many of the indicia of concern are there, but they are hardly conclusive.Click here to view iamge.Here is what is known so far from press reports: a supposedly Dada or Bauhaus artist named Kurt Waldmann was discovered by a French journalist at a flea market in Berlin shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall (at this point, flea markets are almost a disqualifying condition). These works were included in German auctions, and in exhibitions including one at the Kunsthaus in Dresden “Künstliche Tatsachen / Boundary Objects”. Two weeks ago, however, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung posed the question in its article (in German) title: “Did Kurt Waldmann Really Exist?” The SZ pointed to the absence of any reference to Waldmann in art historical literature (not news), and that criminal authorities in Saxony and Berlin were investigating (major news), particularly after the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden supposedly rejected the exhibition now at the Kunsthaus.