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Art Swindlers Detained in Moscow
23.07.2012 13:11
Art Swindlers Detained in Moscow
The 1920 poster "To the people of Caucasus" by D. Moor

For over a year two citizens of Penza Region lived in a Moscow hotel, making their living in a slightly unusual way. They contacted art collectors, posing for expert art dealers, and offered their services as mediators between the Russians and foreign collectors.

      Who wouldn't want to sell a piece of art for a pretty sum? Currently it is reported that art swindlers, in their late 40s-early 50s, diddled 5 collectors. The scheme was similar in all cases, which allowed to hunt down the dealers. They would make an initial contact with a collector and establish the contents of collection. Understanding that collectors sometimes are very knowledgeable, the dealers would normally position themselves as "good friends" of one or another foreign collector and suggested to arrange a sale. The painting or poster would be taken from the owner, the money for arranging the deal disappeared in thieves' pockets, and in no time would their phone number stop working.

      The dealers were finally taken in their hotel room in Moscow after the investigation had been undertaken into a swindle of a Soviet poster worth $80,000. The valuable piece of propaganda art, a 1920 poster "To the people of Caucasus" by D. Moor, was "valued" at mere $17,000, and disappeared.

      The police are waiting to hear from all people who had had similar "art deals" in the past year. 


Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian law art collections    

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