Category Archives: Fraud and Forgery in the Art World

Fraud and Forgery in the Art World

The Dürer Mystery: New Revelations on Amazon-Be Afraid

The Dürer Mystery: New Revelations Paperback – September 9, 2015

TRAVESTY! AND HOPE-THE REAL IDIOT RESIGNS-BPL NON THEFT

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THIS IS JUST A QUICK UPDATE, WE WILL GET BACK TO THE TRUE TRAVESTY IN THIS MESS AT THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY, THE RAILROADING OUT OF ONE OF THE FINEST FEMALE LIBRARY PRESIDENTS IN THE USA WHO WAS RAILROADED OUT BY THE POLITICAL IDIOTS,  A STORY THAT SHOULD NOT BE BE LEFT TO DIE. 

IT’S ALWAYS THE FEMALE WHO GETS THE SHAFT AND TAKES THE FALL,  NOT THE MALES, HAPPENED AT SOTHEBY’S AND CHRISTIES IN 2004,  AND GUYS WONDER WHY WOMEN ARE SICK OF WORKING TWICE AS HARD, DANCING IN HEELS BACKWARDS, AND HAVING TO DO IT 3 TIMES BETTER THAN MOST OF THE LAZY SLOUCHES AROUND. THE SEXISM IS ENOUGH, WE’RE TIRED OF RAPE, BURNINGS, WARS, DOMESTIC ABUSE, ANYONE TRYING TO CONTROL OUR BODIES. 

The chairman of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees has announced his resignation following a controversy over valuable art that went missing but was later found misplaced at the library.

The library released a statement Thursday saying Jeffrey Rudman will resign as Board of Trustees chairman July 3, the same day library President Amy Ryan is resigning following the same controversy.

A spokeswoman for Walsh says the mayor told Rudman during a meeting Thursday morning that he wanted the library to go in a different direction, and Rudman submitted his resignation. The mayor’s office declined to comment on whether Walsh asked Rudman to resign.

A 1634 Rembrandt etching and 1504 Durer engraving disappeared last month, prompting calls for better security. They were found last week misfiled at the library.

 

FINALLY SOME JUSTICE, THE HEAD TRUSTEE GOES ALSO AND THE IDIOT POLITICIAN LIAR GETS TO RUN THE SHOW.  “THE POWER LIES IN THE DECEPTIONS, NOT THE TRUTH”

 

HOW DOES THAT SIT WITH Y’ALL?

IDIOTS! Italian Student Smashes Sculpture While Taking Selfie

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A 19th-century copy of the ancient Greek statue the Drunken Satyr has been the victim of a vicious selfie attack.

It may have seemed like the perfect photo-op, but things quickly went south when an Italian student looking to impress friends on Instagram broke an early 19th-century statue by hopping in its lap to snap some selfies.

Titled The Drunken Satyr, the work is a copy of an ancient Greek sculpture housed in a museum hallway, outside a room with more valuable Greek originals which were fortunate to avoid falling victim to the student’s misguided photographic urges. His supreme lack of common sense was caught on video by security cameras at Milan’s Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, but it is unclear if the student got his desired shot before shattering the statue’s leg.

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/italian-student-smashes-sculpture-while-taking-selfie-6

Master Forger Wolfgang Beltracchi Saw His Painting in Albertina Museum

 

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Wolfgang Beltracchi with his lawyer

The notorious German art forger, Wolfgang Beltracchi has claimed on a German talk show that he “recently” saw one of his paintings hanging in Vienna’s Albertina Museum. Beltracchi made the claim on the ZDF show Markus Lanz.

He was recently released on probation after serving three years of a six-year prison sentence for creating 14 fake artworks purported to have been painted by the likes of Max Ernst and Heinrich Campendonk.

Last year Beltracchi made a similar claim on the Austrian TV show Talk im Hangar-7, suggesting that one of his fakes may be among the Albertina’s collection, without divulging which work it was. At the time it was speculated that the fake may have been Max Pechstein’s paintingLying Female Act with Cat (1909), from the collection of expressionist expert Hermann Gerlinger. The painting was part of a 2007 exhibition at the museum.

Salzburger Nachrichten reported that in response to Beltracchi’s latest claim, the director of the Albertina Museum, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, told the Austrian radio station ORF-Radio Ö3 that he intends to get in touch with the forger to ascertain whether he was talking about the painting featured in the 2007 exhibition or a different artwork.

“I will make contact and ask if it is the painting from the Gerlinger collection or a different artwork,” he said. “Of course we want to know. I said at the beginning that the prosecution made a grave mistake not to use the case to discover all of the fakes.”

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/master-forger-wolfgang-beltracchi-claims-he-saw-his-painting-in-albertina-museum-26

HILARIOUS! GERMAN ART AND FORGERY-GIACOMETTI

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Giacommeti’s Walking Man

A court case has been brought against a German ring who stand accused of knowingly attempting to put a forged Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture on the market.

A 67-year-old assessor named Wolf G., and a 60-year-old art dealer named Hans K., have been accused of fraud and falsification of documents. Wolf. G’s ex-wife Ulrike G., a 63-year-old lawyer and her 92-year-old mother have been accused as accomplices.

According to court documents Wolf. G acquired a fake Giacometti sculpture in 2008 in a barter deal with a man identified as Lothar Se., who was a member of criminal gang surrounding the Dutch Giacometti forger Robert Driessen.

Driessen and his gang are estimated to have made €8 million ($8.9 million) selling forgeries until they were apprehended in 2011. Police discovered over 1,000 bronze Giacometti forgeries in the gang’s warehouse. The authorities melted down the sculptures, but as the current court case shows, many are still on the market.

In March 2009 Wolf G. unsuccessfully attempted to consign the fakeWalking Man sculpture to a Swiss auction house, asking CHF 5 million ($5.3 million) for it. A Giacometti expert identified the sculpture as a copy and it was sent back.

Wolf G. and art dealer Hans. K subsequently attempted to sell the sculpture to a private collector for €350,000 ($390,000), but the deal collapsed after the collector was unable to secure a loan.

Several months later the forgery was offered to Sotheby’s, Frankfurt where it was rejected once again.

Following a third unsuccessful sale attempt, Lothar Se. took back the forgery and was arrested after trying to sell the work to an undercover detective for €1.5 million ($1.6 million). The subsequent investigation led detectives to Wolf G., Hans K. and Ulrike G.

The case is already being compared to the German master art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi, who was released from prison in January.

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/giacometti-forgery-fraud-court-2durer albrecht sex giacommeti walking man germans art frauds rbi

BIZARRE! The $179 mill PICASSO;FIFA STINK; art implosion

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DON’T FORGET THE PAINTING WAS BOUGHT BY A MEMBER OF QATAR’S AL-THANI FAMILY, THE SAME FAMILY WITH THE DEAD 48-YEAR OLD PRINCE FROM DRUGS,  AND MAYBE INTENDED AS A BRIBE TO FIFA? AFTER ALL QATAR GETS THE WORLD SOCCER CUP AFTER RUSSIA,  PUTIN BRIBED FIFA WITH A PICASSO STOLEN FROM THE HERMITAGE AND QATAR HAS TEMPERATURES OVER 140 DEGREES.  ARE THE FOOTBALLERS GOING TO SURVIVE THAT HEAT?

The $179.4 million sale of Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) (1955)  at Christie’s  was greeted with the usual media frenzy, but no one who was paying attention was truly shocked. A lot of the commentary focused on the mind-numbing sum as a symbol of inequality—but then inequality is the one stable fact of contemporary life.Yet something remarkable did happen between the Picasso sale and the last auction-house record at Christie’s, the $142.4 million sale of Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud in November 2013

In inflation-adjusted terms, that means that between Bacon’s $142 million two years ago and Picasso’s nearly $180 million last week, a new threshold was crossed.

Les Femmes d’Alger isn’t just the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. It is really the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

 

HOW COME NO ONE TALKS ABOUT INFLATION OR THE FILTHY RICH?

The existence of inflation isn’t exactly an obscure fact, so why this hasn’t gotten more attention inChristie’s official PR.

Maybe emphasizing the existence of inflation makes all their other “records” immediately seem like a lot of hype, which is what they mainly are.

AND THEN THE CRASH IN ART MARKETS BEGAN!!!!!!!!!!

The auction houses don’t want to be trumpeting the line of thought that the last time the market flew this high was just before an epoch-making global crash that it has taken us a quarter century to return from. It’s much better to talk about how collectors are “chasing masterpieces” or how its all about the fact that now “art is an asset class”—talking points, incidentally, that were also very much a fixture of the late-1980s chatter about the art market boom.

In any case, we are, as of last week, in uncharted art-market territory. Does the fact that this milestone has been passed mean that a red light should be flashing for observers?

 

FACT: IF THE STINKING RICH GET RICHER, ART MARKETS WILL THRIVE.DSDDDSD

The answer, it seems to be found almost entirely outside of the auction houses: If the wealthy continue to get wealthier, the art market will thrive. 

DZ created by a maniacal property bubble that was shortly to implode in a spectacular way, issuing in decades of stagnation for Japan. In 1990, the Bubble Economy was already coming apart, and at Christie’s, beneath the mega-lot fireworks, the art market was already showing signs of stress.

 

GLOBAL ECONOMIES COMING APART-APOCALYPSE HAS BEGUN

This does not seem to be exactly where we sit in 2015. Our global economy is riddled with contradictions—ask a Greek—but the rich are making out like bandits at the moment: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released a report saying that the gap between rich and poor is at its highest point since their record-keeping began. In the auction room, the sound of champagne corks popping drowns out all worries.

 

DR. DOOM, WORLD ECONOMIST-ART AS MONEY LAUNDERING, TAX EVASION AND THEFT

What schemes are going on behind the scenes to keep it all together, we cannot know. The economist Nouriel Roubini (aka “Dr. Doom,” aka a “minor collector of contemporary art”) has made some headlines of late addressing the art world’s seedier side. “As I study and go to galleries and art fairs, I see that there is a lot of behavior that is shady at best,” he told CNN. “Some people use art as a form of money laundering…. Other people use money for forms of tax evasion…. The behaviors of the auction houses have become problematic.”

No one on the inside is going to spoil the party by dishing on such shenanigans now, with business booming. But as far as we can draw historical parallels between the two moments, we might just take the opportunity of Les Femmes d’Alger,  through the lens of history,  SIGNALS the kind of nasty business that might well be building up beneath all the happy talk about “new records.”

https://news.artnet.com/market/picasso-painting-broke-real-record-300

PICASSO, PUTIN BRIBES FIFA THIEVES-HERMITAGE THEFT

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The world of international soccer was rocked  when seven officials from its governing body, FIFA, were arrested, and many more indicted, by US and Swiss authorities in Zurich on charges of racketeering, fraud, and money laundering as part of an investigation that the US Justice Department has declared has only just begun. But what does this have to do with art?

It’s alleged that soccer authorities systemically took personal bribes, some $150 million according to the New York Times, to sway their decision-making about things like who would get to televise games, who would oversee the worldwide soccer organization, and who would get to host the World Cup.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was accused this past December by England’s 2018 World Cup bid committee of having bribed Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and FIFA executive committee member with a painting by Pablo Picasso in exchange for voting for Russia to stage the next World Cup. The painting was reportedly taken from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The committee got its information about the Russian bid “from a network of British embassies and private intelligence firms staffed by former MI6 officers” and was disclosed in a dossier that parliament published.

Perhaps it’s because the Russian President has a greater vested interest in Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup than previously thought.

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/putin-fifa-scandal-picasso-303249?utm_campaign=artnetnews&utm_source=053115daily&utm

DURER-Audit HOOEY faults security at Boston Public Library

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NOTHING LIKE MAKING A VERY GOOD EXISTING PROTECTION SYSTEM SOUND SO BAD, JUST FOR MISSING A CONSOLIDATED LIST. WOULD BE NICE TO HEAR ABOUT SOME REAL POLICE ACTION HAPPENING INSTEAD OF ALL THIS PUFFERY

NOW LET’S LOOK AT WHAT’S REALLY STUPID IN THIS AUDIT REPORT AND REPORTING.  THE BPL HAS A BUDGET OF $416 MILLION FOR SECURITY AND THESE TYPE OF COLLECTIONS, SO THEY NEED MORE MAYBE?

ONCE YOU READ ALL THIS AND GET TO THE DETAILS OF THE AUDIT REPORT, YOU SEE THE TOTALLY WRONG OPENING PARAGRAPH OF THIS REPORTER WHO IS ONLY CREATING SENSATIONALISM AND NOT ACCURATELY REPORTING.

The Boston Public Library, where two valuable pieces of artwork disappeared, inadequately protects its special collections from theft, -WRONG, and does not keep a complete inventory of its prized objects, MAYBE according to a city-commissioned audit..

 

WHAT WAS HITCHINGS DOING FOR 40 YEARS? GUESSING? HE COULDN’T THINK TO GET A DATABASE SOFTWARE PROGRAM MUSEUMS USE?  THEY WERE AVAILABLE.

“Current estimates for holdings are [in most categories] guesses made many years ago that have been adjusted with newer guesses along the way,” according to the audit of the library’s operations and finances by Chrysalis Management. The assessment was launched in December and commissioned by Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

THE AUDITORS SAY GOOD THINGS

“While security staff has taken steps to better control key access to high value areas,’’ the audit said, “they agree that they are exposed to internal theft.”

The report, dated May 1 and provided to the Boston Finance Commission on Tuesday, found that the library’s Special Collections, which includes the print collection where the artwork valued at more than $600,000 went missing, is not well managed. LET’S SEE WHAT THEY SAY LATER.

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE TRUSTEES CAN’T BOTHER TO READ THE AUDIT REPORT? NOW THAT’S A JOKE.

Jeffrey Rudman, chairman of the library’s board of trustees, said Tuesday night in a phone interview that he had not yet read the audit, but that the trustees plan to meet to discuss its findings, “among other topics.”

“Defending against internal misconduct, if there was any, is a real challenge,” Rudman said. “So of course, we want to do better.”

Boston police, the FBI, and the US attorney’s office are investigating the disappearance of Albrecht Dürer’s engraving “Adam and Eve,” valued at an estimated $600,000, and an etching by Rembrandt entitled “Self-Portrait With Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre,” valued at $20,000 to $30,000, from the library’s Copley Square branch.

Police launched an investigation on April 29 and said they are looking into the possibility that employees stole the artwork, which may have been missing for up to a year.

No one has been charged. One employee, who oversaw the special collections, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

The audit was submitted on the same day that Walsh met privately with Rudman and Amy E. Ryan, the library’s president, to discuss security protocols at the library and the missing artwork.

Walsh and Ryan both declined to comment on the audit through their aides.

In the interview with the Globe, Rudman said he has full confidence in Ryan and characterized her as “the best leader this library could possibly have.” MORE THAN LIKELY

A library employee learned the Dürer was missing on April 8 and launched a review of locations where it might have been misfiled, according to Melina Schuler, a library spokeswoman.

When the Rembrandt was discovered missing a week later, Ryan notified Police Commissioner William Evans and the mayor, she said.

At the heart of the investigation is whether the artwork was misfiled or stolen.

Rudman declined to say if he thought a crime had been committed, citing the pending investigation, or why Susan Glover, the keeper of special collections, had been placed on leave last month. SURE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE EITHER GLOVER ON LEAVE

NOW TO REAL FACTS: ONLY 6 PEOPLE HAD ACCESS TO SPECIAL COLLECTIONS-NORMAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Six people had access to the restricted area where the prints were kept, he said.

Matt Cahill, executive director of the Boston Finance Commission, the city’s fiscal watchdog, said his office had just received the audit on Tuesday and he could not comment on its findings.

Asked about the security concerns highlighted in the report, Cahill said, “Anytime someone points out flaws in the system, you want to make sure that you’re not just reacting to it, but that you’re taking a thoughtful approach to make sure the problem no longer exists.”

After the meeting at City Hall and before the audit was obtained by the Globe, Ryan released a statement saying the library trustees will meet soon, and “it is our hope to see this situation resolved swiftly and thoroughly.”

Ryan said she learned on April 10 that the Dürer engraving had been missing for almost a year, “a time gap of significant concern which will be part of the administrative investigation.”

She said she notified Rudman the next day and directed an internal search that was launched on April 13. Staff discovered during the search that the Rembrandt was missing as well.

“While still hopeful that the prints were misfiled, it was clear that the BPL may have been the victim of a crime,” Ryan said. “On Wednesday, April 15, Jeff Rudman and I contacted the office of Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Evans.”

THEY ARE GOOD STANDARDS AND SIMILAR TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS SO WHY IS THIS REPORTER CLAIMING THE SECURITY IS LAX.  A WELL PLANNED INSIDE JOB IS HARD TO STOP.

She also defended the library’s security protocols for viewing the special collections, saying they are similar to standards at other institutions nationwide.

“There is limited employee access to the print collection, and controlled public access,” she said.

The audit followed Walsh’s announcement in early 2014 that he would be ordering “performance audits” of various city agencies.

 

ALL GOOD THINGS FROM THE AUDITORS

The report credited the BPL with a number of accomplishments, including providing a breadth of services, having a strong digital team, marketing its collections of distinction, and successfully executing major construction projects.

OOH WE GOT UNION PROBLEMS IN BOSTON, WHAT A SURPRISE.

However, it also recommended 10 high-priority improvement opportunities, which included inventory management, union cooperation, prioritization and accountability, employee performance management, and fund-raising.

The report said the special collections staff focused too much on acquiring new works and not enough on protecting what the city already owns. DOUBTFUL

 

DUH!  YOU GOT 6 PEOPLE MANAGING ALL, USUAL, THESE INSTITUTIONS AREN’T GIVEN  ENOUGH MONEY TO DO THE JOB RIGHT, ANY ONE LIKE PAYING TAXES FOR GOOD STUFF OR JUST COMPLAINING ABOUT THEM?

“Staff levels are not sufficient to properly care for aging items and storage is not suited to maintaining required environmental conditions,” the review said. “Security is insufficient to protect against internal theft.”

The library has recently taken a number of steps to improve security, including a $78 million renovation project that includes significant upgrades to security, such as cameras and expanded key card access points, according to Schuler, the library spokeswoman.

 

WHA???????????????????????????????????????????????? THE DURER GOES MISSING IN JUNE 2014, THE AUDITORS DON’T FINISH TIL DECEMBER 2014, WHAT IN HECK WAS THIS MANAGER OF SYSTEMWIDE SECURITY DOING IN OCTOBER?

In October 2014, the library created a new position, the manager of systemwide security, who is tasked with updating and developing security policies across the system.

In addition, an independent firm has been hired to assess security in the library’s print department and associated collections, Schuler said.

The audit said more improvements were required and recommended a security monitoring system with live camera feeds, instead of the library’s current system that records videos at multiple locations and is only reviewed after an issue occurs.

 

The audit also said the library does not have a consolidated inventory list. SO WHAT? THAT DOESN’T PREVENT THEFT, HAVING A LIST, NOW A DOCUMENTS FILING SYSTEM MIGHT

The assessment said it is critical that the library inventory every item, estimate its value and where it is housed, and determine whether special security concerns or standards are required to view it. DUH, HOW MUCH DID THESE AUDITORS GET PAID? THIS COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN FOR ANY AUDIT ABOUT ANYTHING

“The significant value of some items makes increased security a high priority, particularly as it relates to protection against internal theft,” the report said. WOW MASTER OF THE OBVIOUS, AND THE MANAGER OF SYSTEMSWIDE SECURITY WAS DOING WHAT?

Rudman sounded a note of optimism, calling the library “one of the great public libraries of this country, maybe number one. We want to be the best that we can be, and the task for us is to see what we can learn from this.”