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28.04.2012, 17:48 RT.com

Russian tycoon wants $2.7 million back from Christie's for fake art

Russian tycoon wants $2.7 million back from Christie's for fake art

One of Russia’s richest men, oil oligarch Viktor Vekselberg has begun a High Court battle in London against Christie’s auction house. The businessman claims a painting his fund bought in 2005 is a fake and is demanding a $2.7 million refund.

Viktor Vekselberg filed the case with the Supreme Court of Great Britain against the world's leading auction house, in 2010. The court fight is over the painting, Odalisque which Vekselberg’s company bought as a work by Russian painter Boris Kustodiev. However according to Vekselberg, an independent expert revealed the artwork couldn’t be by Kustodiev’s hand.

Careful analysis of the Cyrillic signature said to be that of Kustodiev and dated 1919 was made by leading Russian experts. The experts revealed that it couldn’t be made before the 1940s, as the artist died in 1927. Information that the artwork is a fake was made public in 2009. Odalisque then appeared on the pages of the “Fake Paintings Catalogue,” published by the Federal Cultural Heritage Protection Service.



Christie’s auction house still insists, that its attribution was correct and plans to hold another examination to prove their claim that the artwork is a Kustodiev.

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