For those of us trying to follow art law developments in Germany, particularly to get access to original source and court documents in German, Peter Bert’s Dispute Resolution in Germany Blog is a terrific source. Between the Hans Sachs collection case and the contuing fallout from the Wolfgang Beltracchi forgery scandal and the fictional “Jägers Collection,” Germany has had a busy year of art law prominence, particularly with regard to forgery issues. Two recent posts bear reading, both of which attach the original court opinions in German, for their interesting analysis.
Topics: Forgery, Lempertz, Jörg Immendorf, Peter Bert, Germany, Hans Sachs, Rotes Bild mit Pferden, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Dispute Resolution in Germany, Red Painting with Horses, Copyright, Heinrich Campendonk, Jägers Collection, intellectual property
The forgery trial in Cologne ended yesterday with the sentencing of Wolfgang Beltracchi and his co-defendants for their now-infamous forgeries and sale of the fictional "Werner Jäger" collection-the name of his wife's grandfather. Beltracchi was sentenced to 6 years, consistent with the deal struck last month with prosecutors, the other defendants (including his wife) to various lesser terms.
On the heels of yesterday's interruption and pressure from the presiding judge to accept a six-year sentence, the accused leader of a forgery ring in Germany apparently confessed today to 14 forgeries. It's been reported that he said that he enjoyed fooling collectors and experts. It is anticipated that the other defendants will receive similar sentences, though it is not yet certain.
We have been following with interest the trial in Cologne, Germany of four accused forgers. The trial began at the beginning of the month. Wolfgang Beltracchi, 60, is accused of organizing a scam that defrauded art collectors out of millions of dollars. Comedian, actor, and writer Steve Martin is among the most high-profile victims. The 47 forgeries mimicked 20th century paintings by Kees Van Dongen, Max Ernst, Max Pechstein and Heinrich Campendonk.