Dispatches from the archive: fakes and forgeries

Some of the world’s biggest forgery scandals were first reported in The Art Newspaper, and led to further investigations that continue to have an impact on collections worldwide

Archive
July 1997

At least 45 Van Goghs may well be fakes: The Art Newspaper investigates

Sixteen of the doubted paintings are displayed in the Van Gogh museum; leading scholars to consider another 21 dubious works

News
Fakes and forgeries

History's greatest forgers

The ability to mimic a famous artist’s work, fool knowledgeable experts and swindle deep-pocketed collectors are skills that can elevate the ordinary conman to legendary status

Archive
March 2015

Collector Frank Fertitta discovers his 'Rothko' is a Knoedler fake after reading The Art Newspaper

He is now suing former employees of the gallery

Archive
December 2013

British Museum expert says griffin returned to Iran is fake

Scepticism grows about confiscated silver vessel handed over by the US as an act of diplomacy

News
Knoedler

More victims of Abstract Expressionist fakes scandal revealed

In court documents, Knoedler lists the buyers and prices paid for works brought to the gallery by Glafira Rosales

Archive
November 2013

Chinese artist (and AbEx copier) Pei-Shen Qian has some CV—but is it a fake too?

None of the museums listed as owning his work could find it in their collections

Archive
March 2012

Arrest in latest Prouvé fakes case

Three dealers say initial complaints were dismissed by Artcurial specialists

Archive
December 2011

True scale of alleged Beltracchi forgeries revealed

Major auction houses and galleries have been caught up in the fake art scam

Archive
September 2011

Man who posed as count in Giacometti scam handed nine-year sentence by German courts

This ruling concludes a case launched after discovery of 1,150 fake sculptures

Archive
November 2010

'Jesuit priest' donates fraudulent works

Academic museums and universities are being targeted by a suspected art forger

Archive
October 2010

The source of infamous forger Van Meegeren’s secret supplies exposed

A Scotland Yard report shows that the notorious Dutch faker bought lapis lazuli paint for his “Vermeers” in bulk from Winsor & Newton

Archive
March 2010

Giacometti 'fakes' seized in alleged counterfeiting ring in Germany

A series of books, presumed to have been written by the suspect and claiming the artist's brother hid a secret stash of his works, were presented as provenance

Archive
July 2009

Banksy gets the law on his side with a sting operation against forgers

Meanwhile, a new show organised by the mysterious artist proves to be a blockbuster

Archive
February 2009

'Spanish Forger' miniatures bought by V&A

Scholars no nearer to finding the faker’s identity

Archive
January 2009

Design forgery ring uncovered in France

A Parisian artist produced fake 20th-century classics by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Alexandre Noll and Pierre Chareau

Archive
January 2008

Art Institute of Chicago Gauguin sculpture is fake

The Bolton fraud

Archive
October 2007

Revealed: the eBay Banksy print fraud

Unauthorised works by the anonymous graffiti artist have been sold on the internet; prices for these have been illegally inflated with fake bids

Archive
October 1999

The Modernist fakes mountain: How many John Drewe forgeries remain unidentified

Nearly 200 paintings forged by John Drewe may be on the market. The Art Newspaper tracked down 40

Archive
March 1999

'The biggest contemporary art fraud of the century'

John Drewe probably faked as many as 200 pictures, tampering with archive material and duping the experts

Archive
November 1998

Exploitation of the Tate Archives: Trial of accused paintings fraudster

John Drewe donated money to the Tate and allegedly doctored its documents

Archive
July 1998

The Van Gogh fakes scandal: the tally one year later

Last July, The Art Newspaper broke the news that at least 45 Van Gogh paintings were suspect. This is what has happened since

Archive
July 1994

The hunting and capture of two fakers: Mr and Mrs 'van den Bergen' arrested on forgery charges

Ali Baba’s cave of forgeries uncovered—the crucial evidence lay in the fake certificates

Archive
May 1994

Mastermind behind Wedgwood fakes was at work for 20 years

Scotland Yard launches investigation into highly skilful counterfeits of antique Jasper and Black Basalt ware

Archive
March 1994

Master faker Alfred André's cache of evidence revealed

“Renaissance” jewels in the National Gallery of Art are by the hitherto unknown faker

Archive
December 1991

Hebborn the fake: everything we learned from the forger's autobiography

By his own claim, his forged oeuvre numbers some 1,100 works ranging from “Mantegna” and “Giorgione” to “Van Dyck” and “Piranesi”