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News

Fakes in the French Museum

In the town of Elne in southern France, it has been discovered that more than a half of exhibited paintings by Étienne Terrus are fake. The mayor describes it as a catastrophe. The basic question is how the forgeries came to the museum in the first place. We will follow the case to find out who is responsible for it. After all, it should not be so complicated. We have something similar in our National Museum. Here, too, we look forward to the assignment of responsibility. One more thing is also interesting - that fakes are also coming togetting into museums and galleries where there are not globally significant painters, but the regional ones. Such cases can also be found in the the Czech Rrepublic. There is one more thing coming out of this case. The purchase committeecommissionss should pay a greatclose attention to all circumstances when buying the item in question.

https://www.independent.co.uk

The National Museum guards a piece of glass instead of a diamond

On March 5, 2018, in Události, The Czech Television informed about the fact the server Hlídací pes had come up with that there was a piece of glass instead of the 3rd largest diamond and a synthetic sapphire instead of the natural one in the National Museum’s gemstone collection. There were a few odd facts. The new curator of the collection, Lukáš Zahradníček, was surprised to find that these problems had been coming out in the last few years and at the same time he stated that a half of the rubies in the collection were synthetics.The management of the National Museum has been wondering how this could happen. The two previous curators of the collections were experts. One should be stunned that the museum management has long been investigating whether the stones are perhaps stored elsewhere. They tried to find out if there had been any confusion of incompetence. Here, we can say that this direction of the investigation is completely wrong. It is clear that an unqualified purchase, fraud during the purchase or fraudulent replacement-theft in the collection have happened. The case does not have to be time-barred, due to the fakt no one knows when the replacement took place! This case showed how important is the morality of the curators of the collections and their inspection. At the National Museum, the inspection was obviously neglected!

German judiciary is a model for us

In Wiesbaden, after 3 years, 2 perpetrators were convicted for fraud and counterfeiting the origin of the paintings. It was a forgery of the Russian avant-garde. The names of those perpetrators and SNZ Gallery should be remembered and kept in mind when purchasing artworks. The case shows the perpetrators are far ahead, aware of the importance of the origin of the paintings, thus they counterfeit it. Consequently, it will be necessary to devote more attention to the documentation of provenance when examining an artwork. The judges said there had been no evidence that fake images had been made at the request of the defendants. It was not even necessary, because there is an infinite number of better or worse counterfeited paintings circulating in the art world, art collections and on the Internet. What decides is the credibility of legends about the origin of paintings! This is connected with influencing the experts too! And one more thing was showed at the court, the connection of perpetrators with the organization called "The International Chamber of Russian Modernism" (Incorm), which had verified the origin of the works. Here emerges the link to the Parisian "expert" Jean Chauvelin, who was a part of Incorm and supplied the SNZ Gallery of certificates for "undoubtedly original" paintings. This is already a story of shame in Ghent and Tours. We need our courts to be at least as fast as the German ones.

https://www.theguardian.com

Strange attempts to legalize Russian avant-garde paintings

In the source article, you can read about the cases in which attempts were made to expose dubious paintings of Russian avant-garde without a credible provenance in France, Germany and Belgium with the intention to legalize them. These painting were allegedly by artists like Exter, El Lissitzky, Goncharova, Kandinsky, Malevich, Rodchenko and others. The way to the legalization, was supposed to be the Dieleghem Foundation from Brussels, founded by a Russian Igor Toporovski and his wife. Toporovski collaborated with Jean Chauvelin, the organizer of the exhibition "Alexandra Exter and her Russian friends", at chateau Tours in 2009. The vast majority of the paintings were counterfeits. The name Chauvelin has already appeared at the Czech art market in connection with the sale of František Kupka’s painting and in the connection with the exhibition of N. Goncharova at the Alšova Gallery in Hluboká in 2011. The effort to legalize the paintings is complemented by the effort to forge the catalogues to provide the provenance. At the end, one thought belongs to experts who confirm the authenticity of paintings.

https://www.la-croix.com

DiCaprio invested in an art-based start-up

Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in an application of the Magnus company. The app, named Shazam for Art, is designed to enable users to recognize artworks as well as Shazam application recognizes music. The impulse for the founder Magnus Resche was the lack of transparency in the art market. Users of the application can find out the key information about the art work, its name, the artist's name, the year of creation, the history of exhibitions, the price or a list of similar works of art. It is definitely an interesting move that can replace poor or fraudulent sellers. The number of 20,000 collaborating galleries and 10 million works in the database is a truly respectable amount. It is certainly difficult for verification which is the basis for the entire application. It is possible that the connection of technology and art trade is promising and DiCaprio will make a good investment, but that will prove over time.
Shazam for Art reminds those who are trying to prevent the spread of counterfeits along with selling the art. Such attempts have also appeared in the Czech Republic. It is true that those who are in the art world are sceptical about it, claiming that the data and the correct data must be first entered into the application so that it will be able to make a comparison. This is certainly no simple matter. Even about this journey only time will decide whether it is the right way to go or not. Along the way, the users will decide.

https://cools.com

Fake Modigliani at an exhibition in Italy - no surprise!

In the spring 2017, an exhibition of 21 paintings by Modigliani was held at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. 21 paintings were seen by tens of thousands of visitors. The authenticity of these artworks was questioned by Carlo Pepi, a Tuscan art expert. The exhibition was subsequently closed.

Marc Restellini, a French Modigliani expert, says that in the world there are “at least a thousand fake Modigliani’s works.” Maybe there is even more. This information is not surprising. If something is expensive and sought for it is being faked. Because it is so tempting. In 2015, a Chinese art collector paid 170 million dollars for a painting Nu couché (Lying nude)in an auction in New York. You can read the whole story of the unsuccessful exhibition here. I have wondered about the Modigliani exhibition in the Municipal House in Prague in 2010. Were there some fakes too? What was the source of the exhibited artworks? An exhibition of Natalia Goncharova in Hluboká reminds a little of this Genoa’s exhibition. It was also terminated earlier. Such exhibitions might have only one purpose, which is to legalize counterfeits by a realized exhibition which is subsequently listed in the CV of an artwork with a reference to the catalogue.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk

What to do about it?

The fact that there are some problems of copyright and patent law issues in China can be seen with the Wendy Taylor's sculpture called Timepiece which was made by the artist for London. Somebody found it so beautiful that it was almost precisely copied for Shanghai. If anyone wants to believe it is just a coincidence, so be it. A question is, how the European artists and producers should protect their patents and works.
This issue is even more up-to-date since the author has turned to an organisation dealing with artists’ rights - Dacs, as well as the British and Chinese governments. Despite having taken these steps, she expresses doubts that it will lead to the remedy for plagiarism.
If she says that “copyright laws truly end at the borders of Europe and the Chinese laws are very different," then it is definitely not good news. Her statement “to take someone to a court for this reason, or to do something with it, is financially not possible” is not good news, either.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/china-copies-sculpture-british-wendy-taylor-timepiece-tower-bridge-london-shanghai-anish-kapoor-a7441076.html

 

Fakes of Damien Hirst's works

Not a big surprise. What is expensive is being faked, so why not Damien Hirst's works too. This time, a three-member New York group has been accused of selling counterfeits for more than $400,000. Among them, there is also previously accused Vincent Lopreto.
The "limited edition" of Hirst's prints was forged and sold online. The buyers were from all over the world. Of course, those faked prints were accompanied by false provenience documentation.
Fake certificates and false expert opinions of a low quality are a problem in the Czech Republic too!
It is worth reflection about the statement of a New York based art trader - Joseph Levene, who said that fake Hirst's prints were quite widespread on the Internet. Speaking to the Guardian, he said, "On eBay there are people who are dragged into counterfeit art because these people love being fooled by low prices." This statement reflects the human nature. Thanks to it, people are an infinite source of money for these fraudsters.
Another reason for reflection is an additional comment by Levene in which he said that the problem with counterfeits is not just on the Internet. "You can be fooled anywhere, it may not be just online." Hirst discovered his first counterfeit work at Venice Biennale in 2014.
Faking of a living author is also known in the Czech Republic. Professor Sopko could talk about it.
As it can be seen from the article, greed or fraudulent intentions do not involve only secular people but also the clerical ones.

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