Museé Terrus Found 190k in Forged Artwork in Collection

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 at 5:32 pm

A small museum in the south of France recently uncovered that 82 of their 142 piece collection was forged art.

The investigation into forgery at the museum began when a guest lecturer found a forged signature covering one underneath. The article goes on to note…

“A fake is a pre-existing work of art that has been altered in some way to fraudulently increase its value,” says Charney. “A forgery is a new work created wholesale from scratch in fraudulent imitation of something else or the style of another artist.”

Police found that of the 142 works at the Museé Terrus 82 were not real Terruses. Over the course of two decades, the museum had spent more than $190,000 on paintings, drawings, and watercolors falsely credited to Terrus, obtained through fundraising campaigns and private collectors.

Forgery and fakes is not new in the art world.  This tidbit from the article is also quite eye-opening…

 The FBI Art Crime Team has recovered more than 14,850 works totaling more than $165 million since its inception in 2004. Some statistics have said that up to 20 percent of the paintings in major museums are fake.