An attempted €12.5 million (about $14.7 million) sale of fake works billed as paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, El Greco, and Francisco de Goya has been halted in Spain. According to a report by the newspaper El País, a collector from the Spanish province of Toledo had planned to sell the fake paintings in Switzerland, Mexico, and Germany, with the counterfeit Modigliani priced at €8.5 million (about $10 million), the El Greco at €2.5 million (about $3 million), and the Goya at €1.5 million (about $1.8 million).
The works were reportedly accompanied by falsified documentation attesting to their authenticity. Other dealers who had been assisting with finding buyers for the fake works intended to take a 10 percent cut from the sales. The historical heritage group of the Valencian Generalitat Police and the brigade of historical heritage of the National Police Corps have stopped the planned sales from taking place and shared their findings with a court.
[Read a review about Driven to Abstraction, a documentary focused on the famed M. Knoedler art forgery scandal.]
El País reports that experts from the Toledo Sephardic Museum and the Prado Museum in Madrid have “issued the technical reports that show that these are counterfeit works.”
The news out of Toledo is not the only art forgery news to emerge in recent months. Last fall, the seller of an allegedly forged Frans Hals portrait was ordered by a London appeals court to pay Sotheby’s $5.37 million. In July, a man in California was sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted sale of fake paintings he said were created by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and other major figures.