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Germany: Beltracchi trial potential turnout


The trial of the German couple Beltracchi and their two accomplices, which opened early September in Cologne continues to surprise and enlighten the world of art on the case of sensational false. After the animated tale of his life as a forger, Wolfgang Beltracchi acknowledged and explained the details of his production of fake paintings by masters such as Max Pechstein, Max Ernst and Heinrich Campendonk.

The paintings have fuelled the art market for over a decade and abused both collectors and the most experienced experts of the sector such as Werner Spies and Max Ernst recognized specialists. The amount of scam dismantled by the German authorities in Autumn 2010 is estimated at several million of Euros. However, the forger claims that the financial issue was not the only reason for his action, he s 'also acted to lure the niche of experts within the art market.

The trial, which will last until March, will probably be cut short due to this fast confession. The accused who would have initially incurred into up to ten years of prison will have their sentences reduced. Therefore six years for Wolfgang Beltracchi, four years for his wife who dealt with the works’ appraisal and introduced on the market. The two other defendants, the sister of the wife and a fourth accomplice, risk respectively two and five years of prison.


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