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NYC Jury Hears Details of Modern Masters Forgery Scandal

MULTIZ321

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NYC Jury Hears Details of Modern Masters Forgery Scandal - by Tom Hays/ Associated Press/ apnewsarchive.com

"NEW YORK (AP) — In the latest chapter of a scandal that's jolted New York's art world, a federal jury is hearing about a Chinese immigrant who forged fakes of modern masters such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko in his garage, a once-reputable Manhattan gallery that sold them and the wealthy buyers who paid millions for the knockoffs.

"I got a fake painting for $8.3 million and they don't want to give my money back to me," Domenico De Sole, the chairman of the board at Sotheby's auction house and a former Gucci CEO, groused from the witness stand last week at a high-stakes civil trial that continues Monday.

His wife Eleanore — testifying with the faux color-block Rothko called "Untitled, 1956" unceremoniously propped up on an easel next to the witness stand — told jurors she "went into a shaking frenzy" when she first learned of suspicions about it.

The couple sued the Knoedler & Company gallery and its former director, Ann Freedman, in 2013 after federal prosecutors brought a separate criminal case against Long Island dealer Glafira Rosales, who admitted in a guilty plea that she sold or consigned 40 fakes to the gallery before it closed in 2011 after more than a century. The De Soles are seeking $25 million in damages, claiming Freedman should have known the painting was a forgery..."

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FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2014 file photo, Domenico De Sole, a chairman of the board at Sotheby’s, and his wife Eleanore attend Fashion Group International's "Night of Stars" in New York. In the latest chapter of a scandal that's jolted New York's art world, a federal jury is hearing about a Chinese immigrant who forged fakes of modern masters such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko in his garage, a once-reputable Manhattan gallery that sold them and the wealthy buyers who paid millions for the knockoffs. "I got a fake painting for $8.3 million and they don't want to give my money back to me," Domenico De Sole, groused from the witness stand last week at a high-stakes civil trial that continues


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