500 fake Francis Bacon drawings. seized in Italy

Italian police seized these counterfeit paintings by British painter Francis Bacon, preventing their circulation on the art market. 500 counterfeits of the famous artist were seized by the transalpine law enforcement authorities in Bologna, in the north-east of Italy, as well as cash and goods whose value is estimated at nearly 3 million euros. Francis Bacon is one of the most popular artists in the art market. His triptych Three Studies by Lucian Freud painted in 1968 sold for $ 142.4 million at Christie's in New York in 2013, ranking it among the ten most expensive paintings ever auctioned. The work of the British painter Francis Bacon , who died in 1992, attracts counterfeiters and unscrupulous collectors. Five people have been charged with criminal conspiracy aimed at "authenticating and putting into circulation fake works of art" and "fraud and money laundering". The main suspect, a collector from Bologna, was already the subject of two investigations launched in 2018, by the police and the tax authorities. The Carabinieri were in fact investigating the collector, owner of "many works of contemporary art, including two drawings signed by Francis Bacon", and the tax authorities, on "financial transactions with foreign countries, incompatible with his legal sources of income". "Resell to unsuspecting buyers" “From a careful reconstruction of the cash flow from fraudulent sales, we saw how the organization used a UK- domiciled company to collect the proceeds which, once laundered, were redistributed among the suspects, directly or through national and foreign companies domiciled in Spain and Poland, ”said the official statement. The plan of the criminal group was ambitious: "to present the drawings on the art market through prestigious national and international exhibitions, catalogs, websites, foundations" increase their price and "resell them to unsuspecting buyers". © Le Point Culture, Alice Pairo-Vasseur

500 fake Francis Bacon drawings. seized in Italy

Italian police seized these counterfeit paintings by British painter Francis Bacon, preventing their circulation on the art market. 500...