Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bolton Forger's Masterpiece on Show next month up North

ART FORGER Shaun Greenhalgh's Amarna Princess will be displayed in an exhibition at Bolton Museum on April 15th, as part of what the staff have entitled 'Fakes & Forgeries'. A neighbour of Shaun Greenhalgh on The Crescent, Bromley Cross, Bolton said it should have been entitled 'How He Foxed them All'. Last November Councillor Elain Sherrington, Executive Member of Adult Services in Bolton told the Bolton News: 'We are delighted to be chosen as the first venue outside London to host this prestigious exhibition.'

Yesterday one of the Metropolitan Police's art & antique unit's former officers involved in the Greenhalgh case in 2007 featured on Radio 4's Midweek program. In it he appeared to claim that the British Museum experts had discovered the fake in the characters on the Assyrian relief by Shaun Greenhalgh, but this was not the case: those experts and many other London experts were fooled by most of the work including the fake Amarna Princess. When Shaun's father presented what were purportedly three Assyrian reliefs of soldier and horses, from the Palace of Sennacherib in 600 BC to the British Museum in 2005 the experts there concluded they were genuine and were interested in buying them as they seemed to match a drawing by L.H> Layard in its collection. It was only later when Bonhams auction house antiquities consultant, Richard Falkiner spied what to him was 'an obvious fake' and informed the British Museum that some odd aspects were noticed. After that it took the Arts & Antiquities Unit at Scotland Yard 18 months to get round to arresting the Greenhalgh family.

Now Councillor Sherrington is anxious not to condone the criminal activity and she says: 'This exhibition educates the public about forgers, explains the techniques they used and how they were caught by the authorities and, rather than glamorising crime, will hopefully show that even the most artful of forgers is eventually brought to justice.' Amen!

To Northern Voices, the Greenhalgh case shows up the pompous folly of all those Metropolitan experts who were foxed by the northern Greenhalgh family. The case offers a dire warning to all those who put their faith in experts and so-called authorities of all descriptions. The Amarna Princess was first put on display at Bolton Museum at an exhibition opened by the Queen, and Shaun's father George was there for media photos. At next month's exhibition Detective Constable Ian Lawson, from the Metropolitan Police's Art & Antiquities Unit, will be giving a forgery talk in the museum's lecture theatre:; Tickets are £5 and include a preview of the exhibition.

1 comment:

bammy said...

April 1, 2011

New fakes added to Bolton exhibition

Fake works created in the style of famous artists Banksy and Tracey Emin will feature in a prestigious exhibition at Bolton Museum.

The previously unseen pieces will form part of the Fakes and Forgeries exhibition, which opens at the museum on Saturday, April 16.

The exhibition, which was created by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Art and Antiques Unit, also includes the Amarna Princess statue crafted by convicted Bolton forger Shaun Greenhalgh.

The Amarna will form the centrepiece of the exhibition, which was launched at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in January last year.

Also included will be a reconstruction of Greenhalgh’s garden shed – where he made his forgeries – and a collection of his other works, such as the Risley Park Lanx, Barbara Hepworth’s Goose, and Thomas Moran paintings.

Other objects on display will include paintings by renowned forgers John Myatt and Robert Thwaites, fake antiquities by John Andrews and forged silverware by Peter Ashley Russell.

As well as looking at the forged artwork, the exhibition will also explore what defines a fake or a copy; the impact art crime has on modern society; techniques used by police and industry experts to identify fakes; as well as the extreme lengths criminals go to provide fake provenance.

Since appearing at the V&A, the Art and Antiques Unit have introduced some Tracey Emin fakes by Jonathan Rayfern, who was prosecuted in Manchester last year and added some different Banksy fakes.

The free exhibition will appear at Bolton Museum until Saturday, July 2.

A talk on fakes and forgeries by DC Ian Lawson of the Art and Antiques Unit will take place at the museum on Friday, April 15 at 7pm.

Tickets for the talk are £5 and are available from the Albert Halls box office on 01204 334400. The price also includes a preview of the exhibition from 6pm before it is open to the public.


Karen Spibey, Media Team, Bolton Council. Tel: 01204 332064.