A quick update to this entry from last year. The terracotta army of the first emperor of China is currently on display at the British Museum. Ticket sales are breaking box office records and the reviews are glowing.
A preview of the exhibit:
Do these look like master forgers who made as much as $4 million selling “antiquities” cooked up in their garden shed to major galleries, auction houses and museums around the world?
Because they are
The family had fooled art galleries and auction houses from Vienna to New York. Last week the Art Institute of Chicago disclosed that “The Faun,” a half-man, half-goat sculpture attributed to Paul Gauguin, was also a Greenhalgh forgery. The family had made perhaps as much as $4 million from their crafty labors. But, curiously, they all lived off state welfare benefits. Money doesn’t seem to have been their only motivation, police say. They also wanted to ridicule the art establishment. “They were just normal people,” one neighbor says. “They were just happy having a drink of cider in front of telly.”
And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for them meddling cuneiform typos.