Thief Attempts to Authenticate Richter, Gets Caught
In 2016, German artist Gerhard Richter decided to got rid of a few of his works. These artistic creations, some sketches and drawings, he felt didn’t quite match his oeuvre. The artist has a bit of a reputation for disowning his own art. He simply threw out these papers without a second thought.
A passerby luckily recognised Richter’s work in the trash and picked it up. Unfortunately, he did so with some mal-intent. The audacious 49 year old German man took the works to the Gerhard Richter Archive. What is this? The Archive is responsible for cataloguing and authenticating works by Richter. The other man demanded these works be authenticated, claiming that they were given to him by someone who had got them from Richter himself.
At this point, Dietmar Elger, director of the Archive, found something amiss. Richter was so particular about how he presented and sold his works, yet here he had gifted them to someone unframed and in strange condition? It didn’t add up.
While the sketches were in fact genuine, they had been procured in less than legal ways. Therefore, the 49 year old man has now been charged with a fine of about €3,215 by the Cologne district court.
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