Fakes & copies

Number of Beltracchi fakes keeps on rising

Fortunately for the German art forger, he has fled the country and therefore cannot be investigated

The number of forgeries by the now-infamous Wolfgang Beltracchi is still on the rise. In October 2011, he was convicted of forgery and corruption for faking 14 works of art, in Germany’s most high-profile art case in decades. Last month, we reported that police had linked another 39 works to the forgers, bringing the total number to 53. Now it turns out that the London-based Art Loss Register has identified nine further works. According to René Allonge, the detective leading the inquiry in Berlin, the additional works were the subject of a trial in 1996. Several convictions were made, but the court failed to prove that Beltracchi—then known as Fischer—was involved. Beltracchi left the country in his camper van on a world tour and, thanks to the statutes of limitation, cannot now be tried for these works. At least one, a work purportedly by Heinrich Campendonk, was auctioned by a German auction house in the 1990s.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Number of Beltracchi fakes keeps on rising'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 231 January 2012