Museum Security Network

Have Multi-Million-Dollar Forgery Scandals Changed the Art Market for Good?

Five years ago, the handshake deal in art transactions seemed doomed when two massive forgery scandals sent shivers through the art world. Everyone the market counted on had been fooled. Christie’s and Sotheby’s had sold the forgeries, experts had authenticated them, the Met and other museums had exhibited them, major dealers had circulated them.

In 2010, Wolfgang Beltracchi was arrested in Germany and admitted to forging 20th-century masters like Max Ernst and Fernand Léger. The forgeries may number in the hundreds.

A year later, the prestigious gallery Knoedler & Company, one of New York’s oldest, shuttered amid allegations it had sold some $60 million of fake Abstract Expressionist paintings. The allegations later proved correct. This month, Manhattan federal court Judge Paul Gardephe ruled Knoedler and its former director Ann Freedman must go to trial in two lawsuits brought by angry buyers, New York collector John Howard and Sotheby’s chair Domenico de Sole and his wife, Eleanore. Knoedler and Freedman deny wrongdoing and say they were duped as well. Freedman’s lawyer Luke Nikas told The Art Newspaper that at trial she will “tell her story and prove her good faith.”

Read full report at: Have Multi-Million-Dollar Forgery Scandals Changed the Art Market for Good?

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