Jun 02 2006


Natalia Krivinskaya, art consultant, New York:

// Some Thoughts on the Scandal That Has Rocked the Russian Art Market

Russia has more than once made its own contribution to the centuries-long tradition of art forgery. The scandal that recently erupted has, however, seriously shaken the Russian art market, still in its formative stages and thus already unstable. In a wonderful article published in the January 2006 issue of Art News , “The Scandal Sweeping Russia’s Art Market,” Konstantin Akinsha summed up the rumors that had long been circulating. Worthy of the genius of 1920s Soviet satirists Ilf and Petrov, the essence of the con was simple. Hundreds of paintings by minor European artists were acquired at western auctions. These works were slightly touched up in order to give them a Russian flavor, and they were adorned with the forged signatures of well-known Russian artists, artists whose works garner high estimates on the world art market. They were then resold for sums of money many times in excess of the price of the originals.

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