Monday, 23 February 2015

Life imitating art (literally)

It sounds like the plot of a Steve Martin, Michael Caine or George Clooney movie, but according to the Independent today, it actually happened. Two brothers put down a deposit on a 19th-century knock-off of a Goya, believing it to be genuine. After authentication failed, a court awarded them the picture for the price of the deposit rather than the full asking price of €270,000. Rather than being content with what was clearly a decent enough copy, if not a real Goya, the brothers tried a con in their turn.

They must have been overjoyed to agree a price of €€4m with a sheikh and receive 1.7m Sfr as a deposit - until they tried to pay the francs in to a Swiss bank when they found that they were also fake.

The sheikh, and the middleman who arranged the deal and was paid in real money, have disappeared.

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