Why is the FBI investigating if the gathering is faux?

The search warrant used to remove the “Heroes and Monsters” exhibit from the Orlando Museum of Art details reasons for doubting the authenticity of the collection. 1982 by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Officials explained that the paintings have been under investigation since 2012. “The investigation revealed false information regarding the previous ownership of the paintings, documents relating to ownership rights. and the difference with the number of paintings in the exhibition”, search warrant Official sources said forensic information showed the cardboard of one of the paintings made containing the typeface was made in the year 1994, that is, long after Basquiat died. The document states that investigators interviewed Thaddeus Mumford, who is believed to be the original owner of the collection and purchased it in 1982. In the 2014 interview, investigators said Mumford said : that he never bought Basquiat’s artwork. The closet where the work is said to have been found two years earlier, and there was no artwork by Basquiat in his locker. According to the search warrant, the two men, still unidentified in the document, called Mumford and his attorney in 2012 and said they had purchased the contents of Mumford’s locker, where contains paintings by Basquiat. claiming he had never owned such paintings, the men asked him to assert that he did so they could sell the artwork for $1 million. The men advised Mumford to answer “no comment” if he was asked about the history of the paintings. The document states that the date of the Mumford Collection’s international departure from the OMA is to avoid further scrutiny by the public and law enforcement authorities for the origin and authenticity of the works “. , has lost his job. following the FBI raid on the museum last week. Joann Walfish, who previously served as CFO, has been appointed interim COO. “The Board of Directors of the Orlando Museum of Art is extremely concerned. to a number of issues related to the Heroes and Monsters exhibit, including the recent revelation of an inappropriate email letter sent to the academy regarding the authentication of certain artworks in the exhibition. “We have put in place a formal process to address these issues, as they do not align with the values ​​of this institution, the standard,” museum president Cynthia Bru mback wrote in a statement. our business standards and our standards of conduct.” A week after the show opened at OMA in February, De Groft told WESH and was quick to defend it. authenticity of the pieces. “We have no doubt about it,” De Groft said. He added: “OMA’s job is not to authenticate works of art. They come to us authenticated by leading Basquiat experts.” An FBI search warrant says an art professor was paid about $60,000 to write a report on the collection. But the professor later discovered her report had been used publicly in conjunction with the exhibit. So she sent an email to the museum’s director saying, “I have no authorized way to authenticate the unknown works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and do not wish to be associated with this scheme.” The next day, De Groft replied in an email: “You want us to give you $60,000 to write this? OK. Shut. You took the money. Don’t be holier than you are. You did this not me or anyone else,” he said. Silence for now is my best advice. This is real and legal. You know this. You are threatening the wrong person. “WESH 2 contacted De Groft but received no response.” “I think the FBI has done a great job of being able to recover these paintings or bring these paintings to market for the time being,” said Robert Wittman. Wittman is the founder of the FBI Art Crime Team. Now that the FBI has the paintings in hand, he said experts will examine them. “You’re looking for things like paint that might not have existed in 1982, that would later be used, looking for cardboard, backdrops that weren’t appropriate for an age-appropriate time,” he said. speak. Wittman said counterfeits are detrimental to the art world. “You destroy an artist’s credibility when you do that. You destroy the collectibles market because once someone gets scammed and burned like that they don’t want to be in the market anymore. So , you lose the collector,” he said. “The movement of counterfeits, frauds and counterfeits in the art world is a terrible situation. I would say that 75% of the world’s art crime industry, a $6 billion industry, deals translates fraud, forgery and forgery. It’s not theft. It’s fraud, forgery and counterfeiting.”

Search warrants are used to remove “Heroes and Monsters” exhibit from Orlando Museum of Art details the reasons for doubt surrounding the authenticity of the collection.

The paintings, which are part of the “Mumford Collection,” are believed to have been created in 1982 by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Officials explained that the paintings had been under investigation since 2012.

“The investigation revealed false information regarding the previous ownership of the paintings, documents relating to ownership and discrepancies with the number of paintings in the exhibition,” search warrant write.

Officials said forensic information showed that the cardboard of one of the paintings made with the typeface was created in 1994, long after Basquiat’s death.

In addition, the document states that some Basquiat experts have said that they do not think the artwork is authentic.

The document says that investigators interviewed Thaddeus Mumford, who is believed to be the original owner of the collection and purchased it in 1982.

In the 2014 interview, investigators said Mumford said:

  1. That he never bought Basquiat’s artwork.
  2. He visited the locker where the artwork is said to have been found two years earlier and there was no artwork by Basquiat in his locker.
  3. He denies ever having ownership of Basquiat’s artwork.

According to the search warrant, the two men, still unidentified in the document, called Mumford and his attorney in 2012 and said they had purchased the contents of Mumford’s locker, where contains Basquiat paintings.

When Mumford claimed he had never owned such paintings, the men asked him to claim that he did so they could sell the artwork for $1 million. The men advised Mumford to answer “no comment” if he was asked about the history of the paintings.

Mumford passed away in 2018.

The search warrant goes on to state that the collection ended prematurely and was taken to Italy.

“I believe the date of the international departure of the Mumford Collection from OMA is to avoid further scrutiny by the public and law enforcement for the origin and authenticity of the works.”

Director and Director of the Orlando Museum of Art, Aaron De Groft, has no following jobs The FBI raid on the museum last week.

Joann Walfish, who previously served as CFO, has been appointed interim CEO.

“The Board of Directors of the Orlando Museum of Art is deeply concerned about a number of issues related to the Heroes and Monsters exhibit, including the recent disclosure of an inappropriate email letter sent to the academy involved in authenticating some of the artworks in the exhibition,” museum board president Cynthia Brumback wrote in a statement. “We have put in place a formal process to address these issues, as they are inconsistent with this institution’s values, our business standards and our standards of conduct.”

A week after the exhibition opened at OMA in February, De Groft talks to WESH and quickly protect the authenticity of the pieces.

“We have no doubt about it,” De Groft said.

He added: “OMA’s job is not to authenticate art. They come to us authenticated by top experts on Basquiat.”

An FBI search warrant says an art professor was paid about $60,000 to write a report on the collection. But the professor later discovered her report had been used publicly in conjunction with the exhibit. So she sent an email to the museum director saying, “I am in no way authorized to authenticate the unidentified works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and do not wish to be associated with this exhibition.”

The next day, De Groft replied in an email: “You want us to spend $60k on this article? OK. Shut. You took the money. Don’t be holier than you are. You did this not me or anyone else,” he said. Silence for now is my best advice. This is real and legal. You know this. You are threatening the wrong person.”

WESH 2 contacted De Groft but received no response.

“I think the FBI has done a great job of being able to recover these paintings or put these paintings on the market for the time being,” said Robert Wittman.

Wittman is the founder of the FBI Art Crime Team. Now that the FBI has the paintings in hand, he said experts will examine them.

“You’re looking for things like paint that might not have existed in 1982, that would later be used, looking for cardboard, backdrops that weren’t appropriate for an age-appropriate time,” he said. speak.

Wittman says that counterfeiting is detrimental to the art world.

“You destroy an artist’s credibility when you do that. You destroy the collector’s market because once someone is fooled and burned like that they don’t want to be in the market anymore. So , you lose the collector,” he said. “The movement of counterfeits, frauds and counterfeits in the art world is a terrible situation. I’d say that 75% of the world’s art crime industry, a $6 billion industry, trades. translates fraud, forgery and forgery. It’s not theft. It’s fraud, forgery and counterfeiting.”

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