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Thread: Museum's $41 Million Raphael Painting A Fake

  1. #1
    HeavyMetalParkingLot's Avatar Poster
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    Jun 2003
    LONDON (Reuters) - A Raphael painting bought by Britain's National Gallery this month for $41.7 million is a fake, a U.S. art professor says.

    The gallery secured the "Madonna of the Pinks," which it called the most significant Old Master in any British collection, after a fight to keep it in the country.

    But James Beck, Professor of Art History at Columbia University in New York and the President of ArtWatch International, told Friday's edition of the Times the gallery had paid "a record price for a fake."

    "They haven't done their homework," Beck said. "It's a disgrace. The National Gallery never checked any of them physically.

    "When you're spending government money, or anyone's money it's an omission. Frankly, it's a kind of arrogance of the Establishment."

    The picture, so called because it depicts the Virgin Mary with a sprig of pink flowers, was bought from the Duke of Northumberland.

    An ancestor of the Duke bought the 1507-8 picture in 1853 but it was long considered a copy until 1991 when Nicholas Penny, the Gallery's curator, examined the picture and hailed it as the rediscovered masterpiece.

    Beck told the paper his research led him to believe the painting was in fact made in 1827 by Vincenzo Camuccini, a frequent copyist of Raphael and a recognized faker.

    "I think he did this not only for money, but to compete with the Great Masters and fool the public," he said.

    The Gallery has listed 40 versions of the painting around the world, while Beck said he had found at least five more. Beck said he believed none of the surviving versions was by Raphael.

    The Gallery has said the picture, which measures just 11.4 by nine inches, had a different finish and coloring to other Raphael's but added it followed the advice of 25 Raphael experts who all confirmed the attribution.

    The gallery's $41.7 million was raised jointly by Britain's National Lottery and donations from the public.

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  3. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    i'm all for art and the preservation of art... and you certainly don't need to be of a particular class or ideology to enjoy & appreciate it. but i think there's an inherent foolishness in treating art as a commodity, especially at inflated prices like $41 million for a painting. things like this are bound to happen because, as the addage goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    100%'s Avatar ╚════╩═╬════╝
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    Jan 2003
    The fake is now worth 41mill
    must make the forger very proud

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Its magic baby!
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    Nov 2003
    25 to 1 - i tend to believe the 25.

    But hey whether it's painted by raphael or some other guy 41m is far to much.... This is the money we pay taxes for.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    Aug 2002
    I agree.

    I have nothing against the arts...however i think they should be financed by those that actually go, not the taxpayer.

    Its hardly essential.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #6
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    Jul 2003
    Newcastle, United Kingdom
    Suprising the government still put as considerable funding towards the arts, with transport and education quarels.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    100%'s Avatar ╚════╩═╬════╝
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    Jan 2003
    I wonder what Michael Jackson's (FAKE) Nose will be worth....

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Originally posted by Rat Faced@21 February 2004 - 18:04
    I have nothing against the arts...however i think they should be financed by those that actually go, not the taxpayer.

    Its hardly essential.
    Whoa! I have to take exception at that - the arts have to be supported by the government. Your reasoning of "user pays" is very damaging, socially. It is vital that citizens of any country have affordable access to public services and entertainment if you want a healthy society.

    Heres why:

    I noticed a few other people in this thread mentioned transport and education as worthy subjects for public funding. Government transport, such as trains and busses, run at a loss. So the taxpayer is subsidising them, even if they never use them. If bus and train fares were brought in line with the actual costs of the services there would be a massive increase in price (Sydney trains fares for example would go up over 320%).
    Personally I only catch the train once every few weeks, so my tax dollar is subsidising all the city suits who use them every day. While this may seem unfair on me, I do appreciate the fact that the trains are there if I need them.

    Public libraries are another example. They don't make any money at all, so sould we class them as a burden to the tax-payer and get rid of them? Of course not! They are important services to the community and are available to anyone who needs them.

    The police don't make a profit either. Sould we adopt a user-pays system to that you have to pay $500 to get the cops out looking for your DVD player that some junkie ripped off?

    Look at counties that have adopted a two-tier publice heath care system. Health care costs a huge amount so countries like the US tried to make it "fairer" by only really charging people who use the service. Unfortunatly, the greatest number of people in need of care are the ones who can least afford it, so there are THOUSANDS of people who are sick but can't afford to take a day off work to get better. So while they could have taken the day off and come back in to work fit and healthy, in reality they work at half pace for a week and infect their workmates which eventually costs their tax-paying employer money. Now THAT is unfair.

    The arts are important in creating and maintaining a cultural identity, and reflect the historical and current values of society. If there were no art galleries, opera houses, theatres, public performaces, concerts and festivals, what would you do for entertainment? Go to the movies and watch the latest batch of crappy American romantic comedies?

    Without public subsidy of the arts we would be at the mercy of the advertisers and spin doctors and we would loose our cultural heritage.

    (BTW - Perhaps they could have paid for a bit of research on the painting before forking out for it? - $41 mil could have paid for LOTS more paintings, theatre productions etc, and created a lot of employment for people working in thoses industries.)

    edit - typos

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #9

  11. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Did anybody actualy read the Article, the tax payer didnt pay for it.....

    The gallery's $41.7 million was raised jointly by Britain's National Lottery and donations from the public.
    So people who gambled in the lotto wouldnt care less anyway, although it's likley the donators would be pissed off...

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