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Art Law Recent Developments in Art Litigation and Art Finance

Rosales Authentication Mystery Under Investigation

Posted in Litigation Issues

The authenticities of over 20 art works released to the art market 17 years ago are in question, some even under investigation by the FBI.  Glafira Rosales, a little known art dealer from Long Island, sold the Rothkos, Pollocks, and works by other such Modernist masters to revered galleries such as Knoedler & Company.

 

Over the years, gallerists, artists, and appraisers agreed on the quality and authenticity of the works, yet doubts arose by 2003, especially due to the lack of provenance associated with each of them.  Current owners have had trouble selling these works, as prospective dealers and buyers are hesitant to spend millions of dollars given questionable authenticity and provenance.

 

Nevertheless, as this article correctly explains, “authenticity can be difficult to litigate…In a criminal case the bar is higher.  Prosecutors would have to prove that the Rosales works are fakes when even the experts can’t seem to agree.  And if they are fakes, the government would still have to prove Ms. Rosales was in on any fraud and not an unwitting dupe herself.”  So, even if the works’ values are being immensely compromised, the chances of owners gaining recourse in the near future, if ever, is uncertain.

 

[This entry was drafted with the assistance of Nicole Dornbusch].