Saturday, November 17, 2007

Amarna princess

Here's one for the cuttings file (which I'm sure will be turned into a TV drama soon) - the story of the family from Bolton who successfully conned the art world for more than two decades.

In 2003, the local council used grant money to buy a stunning translucent alabaster Egyptian statue from them for £440,000 only to later discover it was a fake. Shaun Greenhalgh created the Amarna Princess from a block of calcite using an ordinary mallet and chisel.

For successful forgers, the Greenhalgh trio 'had an unremarkable lifestyle.' Despite having £500,000 in the bank they lived "in abject poverty", said police. 83 year old Olive had never even left Bolton.

Read the full story on the BBC website here and see a slide show of all the various forged art pieces here.


Jon Peacey said...

I've been following this story for a while now and the one thing that keeps coming back to me is how damaging this is for the arts and antiquities world: a couple of regional experts get it wrong so people extend this to mean that all experts are wrong... which has a serious effect on the science world in general. (Did I just get too serious?)

Mind you the TV series is a shoo-in for David Jason!!!

far away said...

Yes it's a great story - I especially like the idea of African antiquities (and even a Lowry) being fabricated in some corner of Bolton..

Can't see David Jason in it - though...?