Why the FBI is investigating if the collection is a fake

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Why the FBI is investigating if the collection is a fake

The search warrant used to remove the “Heroes and Monsters” exhibit from the Orlando Museum details the reasons for the allegations surrounding the credibility of the collection. The painting that is part of the “Manford Collection” is Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1982. Officials have explained that the painting has been under investigation since 2012. “The investigation revealed false information about previous claims of ownership of paintings, documents related to ownership, and inconsistencies with the number of paintings on display,” according to search warrant authorities, according to forensic information. The cardboard with one of the paintings contains a print made in 1994, long after Basquiat’s death. In addition, in this document, some Basquiat experts say that the artwork is genuine. The document states that an investigator interviewed Thaddeus Young, who was the original owner of the collection and was allegedly purchased in 1982. In an interview in 2014, investigators said that Manford had never purchased Basquiat artwork. The locker seems to have been discovered two years ago, and there was no Basquiat artwork on the locker. He retains ownership of Basquiat’s artwork. According to the investigation warrant, two unspecified men called Manford and his lawyer in 2012 and said they had purchased the contents of a Manford storage locker containing Basquiat’s paintings. rice field. He claimed he had never owned such a painting, and the man asked him to claim that he owned the artwork for sale for $ 1 million. When asked about the history of painting, the man advised Manford to answer “no comment.” Manford died in 2018. The investigation warrant states that the collection will end early and will be brought to Italy. The date the Manford Collection departs internationally from OMA has been significantly advanced to avoid further scrutiny of the source and credibility of the work by public and law enforcement agencies. ” increase. Aaron DeGroft, CEO and director of the Orlando Museum, lost his job after the FBI attacked the museum last week. Former CFO Joan Wolfish has been appointed Interim COO. The board of directors of the Orlando Museum is very concerned about some issues regarding. An exhibition of heroes and monsters, including a recent exposure to improper email communications sent to academia regarding the certification of some works of art in the exhibition, “said museum director Cynthia Blue mback in a statement. .. “These issues are inconsistent with the institution’s values, business standards and code of conduct, so we have begun a formal process.” A week after the exhibition at OMA in February, DeGroft Said: He immediately defended the credibility of the work with WESH. “No doubt. We support it. They are original,” De Groft said. “It’s not OMA’s job to certify art. They came to us after being certified by Basquiat’s top specialists.” According to the FBI investigation order, art professors are about to write a report on the collection. I was paid $ 60,000. However, the professor later learned that her report was being used publicly in the exhibition. So she sent an email to the museum director saying, “I have no authority to certify unknown works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and I don’t want to attend this show.” The next day, De Groft replied by email: Did you get a $ 60 ground to write this? Well, I understand. noisy. You took the money. Stop being more holy than you. You didn’t do this for me or anyone else, “he said. These are genuine and legal. You know this. You are threatening the wrong people. WESH2 contacted DeGroft but did not receive a reply. “Robert Whitman said. Whitman is the founder of the FBI Art Crime Team. As the FBI got the paintings, he said experts would legally inspect them. “You’re looking for something like paint that may not have existed in 1982. It will be used at a later date. I’m looking for paperboard in the background, canvas in the background that isn’t age-appropriate,” he said. Told. Whitman said the fake is harmful to the art world. “Then you lose the credibility of the artist. If someone is scammed and burned that way, you’re destroying the collector’s market because you don’t want to get involved in the market anymore. So you lose the collector,” he said. Said. “The movement of counterfeiting, fraud and counterfeiting in the art world is terrible. I think 75% of the world’s art crime industry, which is a $ 6 billion industry, deals with fraud, counterfeiting and counterfeiting. Theft. It’s fraud, counterfeiting, and fake. ”

The search warrant used to remove the “Heroes and Monsters” exhibit from the Orlando Museum details the reasons for the allegations surrounding the credibility of the collection.

The paintings that are part of the Manford Collection are said to have been created by Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1982. Authorities explain that the painting has been under investigation since 2012.

“The investigation revealed inconsistencies in the number of paintings in the exhibition, with false information related to previous claims of ownership, documents related to ownership,” the search warrant reads.

According to forensic information, the paperboard on which one of the paintings was made contains a typeface created in 1994, long after Basquiat’s death.

In addition, the document states that some Basquiat experts have stated that they do not believe the artwork is genuine.

The document states that the investigator interviewed Sudmanford, who was the first owner of the collection and allegedly purchased it in 1982.

In an interview in 2014, investigators said Mumford said:

  1. He has never purchased Basquiat artwork.
  2. He had visited a storage locker where the art was believed to have been found two years ago, and the locker had no Basquiat artwork.
  3. He denied ownership of Basquiat’s work.

According to the investigation warrant, two men, who remain unidentified in writing, called Manford and his lawyer in 2012 to purchase the contents of Manford’s storage locker containing Basquiat’s paintings. He said he did.

When Manford claimed he had never owned such a painting, the man asked him to claim that he owned the artwork for sale for $ 1 million. The man advised Manford to answer “no comment” when he was asked about the history of painting.

Manford died in 2018.

The search warrant further states that the collection will end early and will be brought to Italy.

“I believe that the date the Manford Collection departs internationally from OMA has been significantly advanced to avoid further scrutiny of the source and credibility of the work by public and law enforcement agencies.” The document states.

Aaron de Groft, CEO and director of the Orlando Museum, lost his job after the FBI attacked the museum last week.

Former CFO Joann Walfish has been appointed Interim COO.

“The Orlando Museum’s board is very concerned about some issues with the Heroes and Monsters Exhibition, including recent exposures to improper email communications sent to academia regarding the certification of some artwork for the exhibition. I’m concerned. ”Museum director Cynthia Bramback wrote in a statement. “These issues are inconsistent with the agency’s values, business standards, and code of conduct, so we have begun the formal process.”

A week after the exhibition was opened at OMA in February, De Groft spoke with WESH to quickly defend the credibility of the work.

“No doubt. We support it. They are original,” De Groft said.

“It’s not OMA’s job to certify art. They came to us after being certified by Basquiat’s top specialists,” he added.

According to the FBI’s investigation warrant, the professor of art was paid about $ 60,000 to write a report on the collection. However, the professor later learned that her report was being used publicly in the exhibition. So she sent an email to the museum director saying, “I have no authority to certify unknown works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and I don’t want to attend this show.”

The next day, DeGroft replied by email: Well, I understand. noisy. You took the money. Stop being more holy than you. You didn’t do this for me or anyone else, “he said. These are genuine and legal. You know this. You are threatening the wrong people. “

WESH2 has contacted DeGroft but has not responded.

“I think the FBI did a great job of being able to retrieve these paintings and withdraw them from the market for the foreseeable future,” said Robert Whitman.

Whitman is the founder of the FBI Art Crime Team. As the FBI got the paintings, he said experts would legally inspect them.

“You’re looking for something like paint that may not have existed in 1982. It will be used at a later date. I’m looking for paperboard in the background, canvas in the background that isn’t age-appropriate,” he said. Told.

Whitman said the fake is harmful to the art world.

“Then you lose the credibility of the artist. If someone is scammed and burned that way, you’re destroying the collector’s market because you don’t want to get involved in the market anymore. So you lose the collector,” he said. Said. “The movement of counterfeiting, fraud and counterfeiting in the art world is terrible. I think 75% of the world’s art crime industry, which is a $ 6 billion industry, deals with fraud, counterfeiting and counterfeiting. Theft. It’s fraud, counterfeiting, and fake. “

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