Pin It

Follow Us On Twitter

Featured Videos

Germany stumbles on world’s biggest art fraud

'Woman_of_Venice_(II)',_painted_bronze_sculpture_by_Alberto_Giacometti,_1956,_Metropolitan_Museum_of_ArtWhen prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany, started investigating a minor art-forgery in December 2008, it did not occur to them that they were about to unravel what could be one of the biggest art frauds in recorded history. The case started with an investigation of 13 suspected fake sculptures promoted as Alberto Giacometti’s work. Soon, however, Stuttgart prosecutor’s office conducted a wider investigation.

The prosecutors were prompted by the extent to which the alleged fraudster went in order to bestow feigned authenticity on the materials – the alleged fraudsters have even published books to support their claims.

In August 2009, the investigation lead to the finding of almost 1,000 fake sculptures along with their forged supporting documents, all claimed to be Giacometti’s. Soon, police uncovered another 150 sculptures.

According to the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office, more fake pieces remain uncovered. Notably, the prosecutors have pressed charges of selling fake pieces against the five defendants, but none were charged for producing the fakes. Who created these pieces is still an open question that the investigation is yet to find

Some believe the fakes were made in China, but prosecutors believe it is most likely to be in EU zone because of its open borders, which makes it easier for the pieces to travel unchecked across Europe.

The investigation is still ongoing, and the prosecutors believe that the fraudsters have handled fakes attributed to at least on other artist, based on the findings of the first investigation. They believe, however, that the production has now stopped where fake Giacometti’s are concerned.

The recovered fake sculptures are of poor quality, and would not have fooled any serious collector, according to experts who studied the seized sculptures. They believe that the buyers were most likely inexperienced people who had the notion of buying art work at a relatively low price.


Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>