How much for an attribution?

October 1 2014

Image of How much for an attribution?

Picture: New York Times, a fake Pollock sold by Knoedler

Over on Apollo's site, there's a summary by Lily Le Brun of the Knoedler fakes story which has been rumbling on since 2011, with this intriguing fact I'd so far missed:

In April a lawsuit was filed against a former curator at the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland for knowingly participating in the Knoedler fraud ‘either intentionally or with wilful blindness or reckless disregard for the truth’ – on the grounds that he was paid a $300,000 consulting fee by Knoedler to help sell a $7.2 million ‘Rothko’, and that he received $150,000 from the buyer.

That's a pretty extraordinary fee for authenticating a picture. Any curator or scholar who took that amount, or even a tenth of it, must know that it's nothing less than a bribe.

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