The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, May 25, 2015


FBI Seizes a Forgery of Andrew Wyeth's Painting "Snow Birds" from an Auction House
A forgery of Andrew Wyeth's painting "Snow Birds," seized from a New York auction house. The fake painting, seized in July, had been for sale at the unidentified auction house, and had been estimated to be worth between $300,000 and $500,000. However, before an auction took place, questions arose concerning its authenticity. An expert at the Andrew Wyeth office at the Brandywine River Museum identified it as a forgery. AP Photo/FBI.
NEW YORK, NY.- David C Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today the seizure of a fraudulent Andrew Wyeth painting from a New York auction house, and the seizure of Mesopotamian antiquities from a California antiquities dealer. The seizures resulted from two separate investigations. Forged Andrew Wyeth Painting Seized In July of this year, the United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI Wilmington Resident Agency, and the FBI Art Crime Team seized a forgery of Andrew Wyeth’s “Snow Birds.” The fraudulent painting is shown below. The fraudulent painting had been placed for sale at a major auction house in New York.

Initial estimates placed its value at between $300,000 and $500,000. Before any auction began, questions arose as to its authenticity. Using meticulous records of the original painting kept by the Andrew Wyeth office at the Brandywine River Museum, Mary Landa of that office was able to identify discrepancies showing that the painting was a skillfully executed forgery. Landa notified the United States Attorney’s Office and the painting was seized.

The party selling the fraudulent painting denies any wrongdoing, and has agreed to forfeit his interest in the painting to the United States government. The fraudulent painting is being forfeited to remove it from the stream of commerce. The actual “Snow Birds” painting was painted by Andrew Wyeth in 1970. Mr Wyeth died in January 2009.

United States Attorney David C Weiss said, “This investigation demonstrates our commitment to addressing the problem of the illicit sale of fraudulent art, a multi-million-dollar criminal enterprise. Recovery of such fraudulent art is a major objective of our law enforcement partner, the FBI Art Crime Team and the FBI’s Wilmington office, whose investigative efforts I applaud. This is the second fraudulent Andrew Wyeth painting we have been able to remove from commerce. We hope this action will help protect the legacy of an important American cultural figure.

I commend Mary Landa and the Andrew Wyeth office at the Brandywine River Museum for bringing this matter to the attention of the FBI Art Crime Team. Our office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute art crime in the future.” Iraqi Artifacts Seized In July of this year, the United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI Wilmington Resident Agency, and the FBI Art Crime Team seized a multitude of ancient artifacts originating in Mesopotamia, in present day southern Iraq. The artifacts are pictured below. Most of the seized items are cuneiform tablets which were used in Mesopotamia for record keeping.

The tablets were made by using a reed stylus to write in the cuneiform script on softened clay, which was then hardened. Three of the seized artifacts are inscribed foundation cones that were embedded in temple walls to dedicate the building to a divinity. The artifacts were looted from present day Iraq by persons unknown and smuggled into the United States unlawfully. The government of Iraq asserts ownership over them.

The United States Attorney’s Office learned that these artifacts were held by an antiquities dealer in California, who was offering them for sale, and the artifacts were seized. The California dealer has surrendered any right he had in the artifacts, which have been forfeited to the United States government to be removed from the stream of commerce. United States Attorney David C Weiss said, “This investigation is the result of the joint efforts of this office, the FBI Art Crime Team, and the FBI’s Wilmington office. Along with the FBI, we are committed to addressing the problem of looting and smuggling of cultural property.

Artifacts like these represent the history not only of the source country, in this case Iraq, but the history of all mankind. When artifacts are looted, archeologists lose context, which is critical in piecing together the puzzle of the past. We hope that this seizure will help repair at least some of this damage. Our office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute cultural property crimes in the future.” Assistant United States Attorney to Receive Award Assistant United States Attorney David L Hall has been selected to receive one of four of the nation’s 2010 Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE) Beacon Awards.

The SAFE Beacon Award recognizes “outstanding achievement in raising public awareness about our endangered cultural heritage and the devastating consequences of the illicit antiquities trade, which fuels the looting of ancient sites and destroys our ultimate non-renewable resource: the intact evidence of our undiscovered past.” This year’s Beacon Award winners are described as “unsung heroes” who have “collectively rescued millions of dollars worth of stolen or smuggled art and cultural property.” AUSA Hall is being honored for his work as the Special Prosecutor of the FBI’s Art Crime Team in protecting cultural heritage by combating the illicit trade in antiquities and art. Hall is cited by SAFE for his work “valiantly prosecuting international art crimes cases”. SAFE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that creates educational programs and media campaigns to raise public awareness regarding the importance of preserving cultural heritage worldwide. SAFE is a coalition of professionals in communications, media, and advertising working alongside experts in the academic, legal and law enforcement communities.





Today's News

October 28, 2010

SFMOMA Presents Major U.S. Retrospective of Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson

A Masterpiece from the Museo Archeologico Regionale di Agrigento Goes on View at the Getty Villa

Specially Equipped Silver Aston Martin First Driven by Sean Connery Sells for $4.1M in London

FBI Seizes a Forgery of Andrew Wyeth's Painting "Snow Birds" from an Auction House

Harry Blain and Former Sotheby's Vice Chairman Emmanuel Di Donna to Open New York Gallery

Caravaggio-Inspired Dutch Masterpiece Acquired for Fitzwilliam Museum

Documentation and Artwork, 1972-1985 by Cuban-American Artist Ana Mendieta at Galerie Lelong

Iwo Jima Mementos, a Faded Photograph and Child's Drawing, Bring Closure to Japanese Family

Christie's Sales of Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art to Offer an Impressive Array of Rare and Important Works

Oakland Museum of California Acquires Historic "All of Us or None" Poster Collection

Two 150-Year-Old Civil War Dolls Get X-Rayed at VCU Medical Center for Signs of Smuggling

Baltimore Nuns Auctioning Famous Baseball Card to Raise Money for Diocese

Kunsthaus Zürich Embarks on Ambitious Restoration Project on the Work of Alberto Giacometti

Irma Stern Makes New £2.4 Million World Record for South African Art at Bonhams in London

Harn Museum of Art Creates New Position to Increase Collaborations with University of Florida Faculty and Students

The U.S. Department of State and the Bronx Museum of the Arts Announce International Community-Based Visual Arts Program

Children's Spontaneity "Wiped Out by Teaching" Claimed Beatrix Potter in Forthright Letters for Sale at Bonhams

SFMOMA Debuts a New Body of Work by R. H. Quaytman

Leslie Hewitt Awarded 2010 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize

Sylvia Sleigh, Prominent Painter, Dies at Age 94, Seminal Work On View at the Hudson River Museum

Tate Launches The Muybridgizer App for iPhone, Free for the Duration of the Exhibition

Exceptionally Rare Darth Vader Costume to Be Offered at Christie's South Kensington

Audit Shows Records at National Archives in Washington at Risk of being Lost for Good

Saatchi Gallery Opens Second Installment of Museum-Scale Survey of Emergent British Contemporary Art

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa Wants Yale University to Return Artifacts to Peru

The Hayward Gallery Presents Seminal Works by Leading Artists in Move: Choreographing You

Special Exhibition Reconsiders John La Farge's Contributions to American Art in Centenary Year of Artist's Death

Successful Anniversary Year Boosts Meijer Gardens Attendance and Membership

Rudy Giuliani's New York City Hall Portrait, Painted by Everett Raymond Kinstler, is Unveiled

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Picasso masterpiece becomes the most valuable work ever sold at auction: $179,365,000

2.- Conceptual artist David Ireland's restored home at 500 Capp Street to open in January 2016

3.- After last month's 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, century-old Kaiser Library left in ruins

4.- Team of American explorers say pirate Captain Kidd's treasure found off Madagascar

5.- Christoph Buechel's church-cum-mosque causes controversy at Venice Biennale

6.- World's oldest complete example of 10 Commandments on rare display in Israel

7.- Go West: Artists flee exorbitant and over-crowded New York for Los Angeles

8.- All the World's Futures: 56th International Art Exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor opens

9.- Exhibition at Museum of Modern Art explores Yoko Ono's groundbreaking early work

10.- Tsibi Geva presents a new installation for the Israeli pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site