Steve Martin Duped by Art Forgery

Fake discovered after actor sells painting at auction
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2011 2:14 PM CDT
Steve Martin Duped by Art Forgery
Steve Martin in a file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Steve Martin is renowned for his taste in art, but even he got duped by some world-class swindlers, reports Der Spiegel. Martin bought a painting called Landscape With Horses, said to be from modernist Heinrich Campendonk, in 2004 for $850,000. He sold it two years later at Christie's for about $720,000. But even that lower price turns out to be way over the mark: German authorities say the painting was actually by a now-imprisoned forgery gang led by Wolfgang Beltracchi.

Martin himself doesn't appear to be on the hook for any legal liability. “It wasn’t clear that it was a fake until after Christie’s had sold the picture, it was a long time after that, that it became known,” he tells the New York Times. Also, an expert certified the painting as authentic before he bought it. “The gallery that sold me the picture has promised to be responsible to me, if I’m responsible, but it’s still unclear.” (Read more Steve Martin stories.)

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