Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Steve Martin Looses $850,000 in German Art Fraud Scandal

Who knew comedian Steve Martin was into art?

Well, some of us did.

If you watch The Colbert Report you have seen Steve and Stephen go head to head in their elite lust for the perfect piece of art and culture.

But seriously, Steve Martin is a connoisseur of fine art and has collected some of the most impressive, and expensive pieces out there for his private collection.

But know it looks like the banjo playing comedian has been burned – and bad.

In Cologne Germany, police believe Martin has been the victim of one of the biggest art forgery scandals in the country's history.

Cops believe he purchased a painting forged by a team of crooks being investigated for selling dozens of such forged art pieces over the last ten years.

According to investigators, in 2004 Martin purchased what he thought was a 1915 painting called “Landscape With Horses” by German modernist painter Heinrich Campendonk.

Landscape With Horses

He bought it from the Paris Gallery, paying $850,000, and then resold it in 2006 at Christie’s Auction House for only $350,000 taking a major loss on the deal.

But now it turns out it was a fake – a forgery so good that it even fooled the Paris Gallery and Christies.

Martin says,

“It wasn’t clear that it was a fake until after Christie’s had sold the picture, it was a long time after that, that it became known. The forgers were quite clever in that they gave it a long provenance and they faked labels, and it came out of a collection that mingled legitimate pictures with faked pictures.”

German police arrested the forgery gang leader Wolfgang Beltracchi, his wife Helene, her sister Jeanette and accomplice Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, last year.

Investigators believe the group sold at least forty forged paintings over the last ten years and they were all forgeries of artists from the first half of the 20th century, including Campendonk, Max Pechstein, Max Ernst and several others.

Watch Stephen Colbert and Steve Martin Discussing Art

So we have to ask, if you had an extra $850 G’s laying around would you buy that painting for your family room?

Things must be nice in Hollyweird.

Follow InfoStar on Twitter – I’ll paint you a picture!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...