Bucharest art gallery suspected of selling 200 forged paintings credited to famous Romanian artists

Inquam Photos / Sabin Cirstoveanu

Police and prosecutors are investigating an art gallery which is suspected of selling 200 forged works of art falsely credited to famous Romanian painters.

They carried out house searches in the capital and northern Romania on Thursday in connection with the case.

They said an unnamed Bucharest art gallery is suspected of selling forged paintings attributed to artists such as Nicolae Tonitza, Nicolae Gigrorescu, Stefan Luchian, Camil Ressu and Theodor Pallady.

The paintings, which had a certificate from a culture ministry expert, attesting their authenticity  turned out to be fakes, News.ro reported.

Romanian prosecutors carried out 10 searches in houses and institutes on Thursday in the capital and in the counties of Iasi and Botosani. They are investigating charges of Fraud, false statements and tax evasion. Prosecutors will interview 40 witnesses.

A statement said that a Bucharest sold pictures  from March 2020 to December 2021 “falsely attributed to renowned Romanian painters…. with the aim of obtaining unjust material benefit.”

“To deceive buyers,  the paintings had certificates issued by a expert accredited with the culture ministry which falsely stated they were the work of famous painters.”

Prosecutors took away the paintings, documents, receipts and other “means which were used for the criminal activity.”

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