After a decade on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, a ceramic figure allegedly sculpted by Paul Gauguin was revealed yesterday to be a fake. The museum discovered 'The Faun,' a half-man, half-goat figure, to be the work not of the 19th century French artist, but of a British family notorious for producing art forgeries, the AP reports.
The museum, which refused to disclose how much it paid, has traced the counterfeit sculpture to the Greenhalghs, a family who long ran a forgery operation in which the son created fakes that the elderly parents sold on the art market. Greenhalgh productions include an 'Egyptian' statuette and 'Assyrian' stone reliefs. The son is now in prison, the mother got a suspended sentence, and the father awaits sentencing.