Intercepted in Spain three fake paintings attributed to El Greco, Goya and Modigliani
About to be sold abroad for €12.5 million
Spanish police have seized three fake paintings attributed to artists El Greco, Francisco Goya and Amedeo Modigliani.
The counterfeit canvases were owned by a collector from the province of Toledo who intended to sell them as originals for the exorbitant sum of €12.5 million.
The seller, whose identity has not been revealed, allegedly had contacts with numerous dealers to sell the works in Switzerland, Mexico and Germany in exchange for a 10% commission. Potential buyers would have already been ready to buy.
The Modigliani forgery, a half-length female portrait, was the most expensive of the group with a sale price of €8.5 million. The painting had the artist’s forged signature on the back and was accompanied by bogus documents of authenticity. The Valencian Institute of Conservation contributed to the investigation by declaring that the work in question was a forgery.
On the other hand, the works by El Greco and Goya, one valued at €2.5 million and the other at €1.5 million respectively, were declared inauthentic thanks to the intervention of experts from the Prado Museum and the Sephardic Museum of Toledo.
All three paintings were seized by the police while the results of the investigation, including the museums’ technical reports, were shared by the Spanish court.
“The resale of fakes is a persistent problem in the art market that worries not only the police,” said Antonio López the head of the Historical Heritage Group, “but also collectors, art dealers and artists’ heir families who are seeing the illegal circuits of commerce increase more and more.”
The problem of fakes affects not only Collectors, but above all it damages the market of the counterfeit Artist and consequently the professionals involved.
The Fine Art Expert Institute of Geneva has estimated that more than half of the works examined at their laboratories are either fakes or misattributed. This is why it is becoming increasingly important to conduct careful Due Diligence and Provenance on works that are being bought or sold.
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