Before we begin, a moment of silence for the poor staff, owners, and other employees of the museum.
That done, let’s get into this story of lies and heartbreak.
Étienne Terrus is a French painter born in Elne, France. As such, there is a museum dedicated to his work there; the Terrus Museum.
As many as 82 paintings, drawings, and watercolours worth more than $187,000 displayed in the museum were discovered to be fakes!
Doubts were first raised by a visiting art historian by the name of Eric Forcada during a trip to the town.
A panel of experts later corroborated Forcada’s story and concluded that the works of art were in fact, forgeries.
The collection was slowly amassed by the museum over a period of 20 years, with the last piece being obtained in 2010.
The major of Elne described the whole situation as a ‘disaster’ and lamented the fact that thousands of people have come to the museum, only to end up seeing forgeries instead of the real deal.
The city has filed a complaint for forgery and fraud, causing the police in the region to start investigating the matter.
Art forgery and trafficking is a constant shadow that looms over the whole industry due to the high value of the works of art and how difficult it is to obtain them.
Whether the museum will be compensated for their losses or whether whoever tricked them will get away with it is yet to be determined.
Header Image Source: EuroNews