Forger gets two years
May 10 2012
William Mumford, who admitted creating up to 1,000 works, has been jailed for two years. From the Antiques Trade Gazette:
The forged works imitated a range of artists including Francis Newton Souza, Sayed Haider Raza, Jilali Gharbaoui, Sadanand Bakre, Maqbool Fida Husain, Welsh landscape painter Kyffin Williams, and English surrealist and modernist artist John Tunnard.
It is believed the paintings have been released onto the UK market over a five-year period.
Operation Sketch – led by the Metropolitan Police Art and Antiques Unit, supported by ArtBeat Special Constables – identified the scam in April 2009 after they were contacted by a major London auction house which had identified an unusually high number of Husain paintings offered for sale.
Hundreds of paintings and false instruments were found in the back bedroom and garage of Mumford's home address in East Preston, West Sussex, including gallery stamps, ink pads and Victorian paper used to create a false provenance.
There's still plenty of forgers out there - it's caveat emptor more than ever these days.