Precious Masterpieces Forgery and Selling Essay


It should be noted that art is not only a spiritual platform of the worlds cultural heritage but also a convenient playground for fraud, forgery, fakes, and other illegal business maneuvers to launder money. Apart from the fact that history knows many cases when the well-known galleries were accused of exhibiting fakes or copies of the original paintings, many people who can afford to buy an original work for a few million USD cannot protect themselves even collaborating with the reputable antique dealers.

Yves Bouvier

One of the recent occurrences that undermined the reputation of art connoisseurs was the case of the Russian billionaire who has been using the services of the antiquarian Yves Bouvier during the past ten years. The Russian businessperson was willing to pay any money for those works of art that he was recommended by his advisor. However, it turned out that the respectable antiquarian had his own agenda to mediate for such a wealthy man like Mr. Rybolovlev. In particular, the multi-billionaire, who is known in the world of art for his propensity for historical canvases, accidentally found out that one of the collectors bought the canvas of Modigliani for approximately 90 million USD while he purchased one of the paintings for 118 million. After this situation, he started analyzing where the rest of the sum could have gone after he handed it over to his intermediary.

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Having appraised all the previous purchases, the billionaire came to the conclusion that he was simply deceived, and the respectable antiquarian has earned a lot of money on their art deals. It turned out that Mr. Bouvier appropriated the money left from the purchases of paintings and did not report the actions to his customer. Mr. Rybolovlev tried suing Mr. Bouvier, and the antiquarian was taken into custody. However, the competence of the police was not enough due to the fact that the art dealer explained his actions stating that he did not take any commission but the money was spent to cover the administrative costs. Therefore, the police could not charge him with any crime since technically the activity was legal.

Glafira Rosales

However, there were situations when the violations were taken to court. For instance, in the case, theUSA v. Glafira Rosales, S.D.N.Y., 2013, the art dealer was sentenced to actual imprisonment. For a long time, Ms. Rosales has been collaborating with an who created copies of famous paintings of expressionists upon her request. If it were not for a situation when one of the clients filed a lawsuit against her, the fraud would be still supplying fakes and passing them off to her clients for the huge prices like originals. However, the business of art is a contradictory and multifaceted issue, and rarely any case comes to court due to the absence of a and incompetence of police and court in that matter.


It can be concluded that forgery and selling of precious masterpieces are the critical problems of the art market. The distribution of fake paintings undermines the reputation of major galleries and respectful collectors or antiquarians. Some , and the perpetrators are brought to justice. Nonetheless, these occurrences evidence the absence of strict regulation and loopholes in the law that to make money on deceit for decades.

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