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Prominent Art Critic Elena Basner Taken into Custody
4.02.2014 21:24
Prominent Art Critic Elena Basner Taken into Custody
photo: PhotoXPress

The well-known art critic and painting consultant Elena Basner is interrogated on charge of serious fraud in St. Petersburg.

      The investigators suspect her to have passed off a fake of Boris Grigoryev’s painting At Restaurant as the original. As a result a collector paid a quarter of a million dollars for a fake.

      Since Friday the biggest Russian avant-garde expert has been in custody. The lawyers insist on her innocence.

      5 years ago the Petersburg collector Andrey Vasilyev bought the canvass At Restaurant by the artist Boris Grigoryev through an intermediary. Soon it turned out at an exhibition in Moscow that the canvass was not authentic. The intermediary pointed the collector to Elena Basner, a former expert of the Russian Museum, stating it was from her that he had got the fake copy.

The art critic was shocked by this claim and denied it right away. The collector went to court with lawsuits on illegal inaction three times. The Petersburg Ministry of Internal Affairs finally initiated proceedings on the fraud and submitted the details to investigators. The criminal case was launched one and a half years ago.

      Experts and collectors tend to think that Elena Basner became a hostage of frauds, which both museums and famous collectors can be involved in.

      The lawyer of the art critic will ask the court for admitting Elena Basner to bail for the period of legal investigation. The amount of bail has not been aired, but according to the lawyer, it is quite acceptable.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Fake Paintings Elena Basner Art Criticism   

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