‘JESUIT PRIEST’ FORGER HAS FOOLED US MUSEUMS FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS
Museum curators are warning of a mysterious man posing as a Jesuit priest who is suspected of duping American institutions with brilliantly forged artworks over the past 20 years.
A picture is emerging of one of the most bizarre cases of deception in art history. Unlike other forgers, the “priest” does not ask for payment of any kind for his Picassos, Signacs and Daumiers which have been described as “masterful”. It seems the alleged fraudster simply enjoys fooling museum experts who have not only accepted his fakes as cherished gifts but invited him to “special donor events” in the belief that he has more to give.
Research by senior museum figures suggests he has targeted more than 30 museums so far and institutions across the United States are now being warned to look out for him. Whether he has visited British museums bearing gifts is unclear.
As the priest, he explains that he wants to give a work of art in memory of his late mother who came from wherever the museum is located. He tells them that, as a minister, he cannot keep it for himself. _Guardian