French museum discovers many fakes in its collection

  • French museum discovers many fakes in its collection

French museum discovers many fakes in its collection

A city-owned museum in southern France dedicated to painter Etienne Terrus has made a startling discovery: its vast collection of the artist's works contained many worthless fakes.

Étienne Terrus museum in Elne uncovers fake art in collection- brilliant story but is this fake news?

The Museum, which exhibits works by the founder of this style in painting as Fauvism, which is characterized by a wild expression of colors, was filled with fakes.

Numerous forged oil paintings, namely watercolours and drawings were bought with money from municipal funds over recent years, whereas others were presented to the museum by local groups that managed to fundraise the sufficient sum.

The local council in Elne had been steadily collecting artworks attributed to Terrus since the Terrus museum opened in 1994, spending €160,000 (NZ$223,000) on paintings, drawings and watercolours.

The museum reacted to this by gathering a team of experts from the art and culture world to inspect the works.

"It's a catastrophe", said Yves Barniol, the mayor of Elne, where the museum is located.

One French outlet claimed some of the works depicted buildings that hadn't yet been built when Terrus died.

Acclaimed for his landscapes of French Catalonia, Terrus was close with artists Aristide Maillol and Henri Matisse and lived mostly in Elne, a town on the Tech River that's less than three miles from the Mediterranean coast of Languedoc-Roussillon, France 24 reports. The authorities filed a complaint against those who ordered, painted and sold a false picture. They admit that such cases could happen with the work of other local artists.