Two stolen artworks by Goya and Rubens returned to Voergaard Castle

The Portrait of Marie de Médicis by Rubens and Le Fou by Goya that were stolen in 2008 at the Voergaard Castle, in Denmark, reappeared in June 2015. The two thieves stole the paintings in 2008 and have already served their sentence, however, they did not disclose the location of the artworks. The sum they obtained from the theft was estimated around €13 million. A month ago, the two paintings reappeared, and a first examination by experts proved that the two match the period of Goya and Rubens. A more detailed verification of authenticity by experts in Spain and the Netherlands is required in order to confirm they correspond to the two stolen artworks. The Voergaard Castle was owned by Count Oberbeck-Clausen, whose spouse owned a vast collection of paintings including pieces by Goya, Raphaël and Rubens. Following the Count’s death, the Castle became a museum and opened to the public....

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Spanish forgery ring uncovered

Spanish police have uncovered a forgery ring involving people who forged artworks by artists such as Goya and sold them over the Internet and at art galleries, El País reports. The police seized 27 artworks with the apparent value of €1.2 million in Castellón; two people have been detained and three others are reported to have been involved in the scheme. The investigation began when a painting depicting the adoration of the Magi appeared on sale on the internet for €180,000, the original of which was actually in a gallery in Barcelona. The group had forged a work by Goya which they priced at €900,000, an attempt to convince buyers of its authenticity. Although some of the works were of higher quality, they also tried to sell a group of Goya ‘etchings’, which were actually photocopies, for €2,500 each. Police commissioner Álvaro Rodríguez commented to El País: “We don’t know if the fakes are going to go in a museum or in the Ministry of Culture. We are waiting for the judge’s...

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Spain refuses art donated in place of taxes

The Spanish government refused all artworks submitted in lieu of taxes in 2014, reasoning that the works presented were not of historical or artistic value to the country. The scheme has previously worked favourably for the country, with the Prado receiving four pieces by Fransisco de Goya in the period from 2002 to 2003. Also in 2003, the country accepted 470 works by Mario Fortuny in the place of €3 million of taxes from the Inditex group. In the period from 1999 to 2014, the total worth of artworks submitted instead of taxes came to €188.6 million, most of which came in the period between 1999 and 2003; in recent years, the total has sharply fallen, exemplified by this year’s...

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New Goya museum struggles in Spain’s current economic climate

Fuendetodos, 12 August 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Building work on a museum devoted to the life and work of Goya (1746-1828) came to an abrupt halt in July, with a report released in The Art Newspaper revealing that the project has run out of funding. The cost of building work for the museum was expected to be around €7m. Currently, the walls of the building – designed by Madrid-based architects Matos Castillo – are complete, but the inside remains unfinished. The building is situated in Goya’s hometown of Fuendetodos, a small town with a population of under 170. The region already offers tourists the opportunity to visit the artist’s birthplace, the Casa Natal Goya, but would benefit greatly from the income which the half-built museum could generate. Commenting on the situation, the Mayor of Fuendetodos, Joaquín Gimeno, said: “The [ministry], the organisation that has helped us the most to realise the museum, told us that there is no funding for museums in construction in 2013. The day we get funding again we will keep working on the...

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When copies becomes originals

So often, the appeal of a work of Art is bolstered by the knowledge that it is unique and irreplicable. For gallery visitors and collectors, the opportunity to stand in front of the only copy of a piece is a privilleged experience. Far away from imitations or reproductions, the original image seems to represent the ’truth’ – it is the only real, and the only valuable version of the work. It is this notion which sees some 8.8 million visitors attend the Louvre annually, often seeking to glimpse the ’true’ version of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa which exists in so many reproductions elsewhere. To reach the real Mona Lisa, visitors will pass hundreds of replicas, staring at them from post cards, bags and printed aprons in nearby souvenir shops. Yet it is only the real painting – sat behind bulletproof glass – which is legitimate. So what of the Art Edition? Works which are replicated, produced in series, and copied seem to directly counter this notion of ’originality’. They are immediately more common, and perhaps risk being less remarkable, or less collectable as a result. And yet, editions continue to be prominent features in sales at international auction houses; specialist galleries and fairs have emerged, appealing exclusively to people interested in art which already exists elsewhere. Art Media Agency examined the history the Art Edition, and its evolution, considering this phenomenon in a contemporary market where digital technology means the true ’original’ is becoming increasingly implausible. Early Editions: Print Some of the earliest forms of replicated Art works were produced by Renaissance printers. Frequently cited as one of the leading figures of the Northern Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) produced intricate wood cuts which established his reputation across Europe. Later, Rembrandt (1606-1669) would spearhead what would come to...

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