The Book

GENUINE FAKES by ROSEMARY MYATT

BASED ON THE “GREATEST ART FRAUD OF THE 20TH CENTURY”

A story, based on true events, about one man’s greed and how, with a cunning devious mind, he takes advantage of another man’s desperate struggle for survival.

Michael Vaughan-Taylor is charming and suave. He walks past an art gallery and is shocked to see a price tag of £2 million on a painting by Auguste Renoir. An idea is formed.

He replies to an advert in Private Eye magazine. “Genuine Fakes from £150” and meets a talented artist John Blake, who has fallen on hard times. Vaughan-Taylor starts to buy paintings from him in the style of 19th and 20th century artists, A couple of years later John is shocked to find out that his charismatic and generous friend is selling them as the real thing.

Vaughan-Taylor soon realises that the key to selling an ‘original’ work by an artist is to have provenance, (the history behind the painting). He becomes expert at infiltrating art galleries, and their valuable archives, in order to create false documentation. He also manages to persuade the great and the good of the British Art establishment that he is a trusted friend and benefactor. In the meantime he cruelly neglects his beautiful partner Mina.

Some years later Vaughan-Taylor and John Blake are arrested. John pleads guilty and is sentenced to one year in prison, reduced to four months for good behaviour. Vaughan-Taylor pleads not guilty, denying all knowledge or involvement in any part of the Art fraud. He is given a sentence of six years. John never heard from him again.

THE ART FRAUD DEPICTED IN THIS BOOK ACTUALLY HAPPENED. FOR A DECADE FROM THE MID 1980’S TO THE MID 1990’S TWO MEN FOOLED THE ART WORLD WITH A COMBINATION OF PAINTINGS IN THE STYLE OF MODERN MASTERS BACKED UP BY CLEVERLY FORGED PROVENANCE.

OVER 200 PAINTINGS WITH A FACE VALUE OF MANY MILLIONS OF POUNDS WERE SOLD THROUGH ESTABLISHED AUCTION HOUSES OR DIRECTLY TO COLLECTORS, DEALERS AND MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD. 80 WERE RECOVERED, 120 ARE STILL IN CIRCULATION.

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