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Doubts about Russian art in Ghent

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Twijfels over Russische kunst in Gent

Ten specialists have great doubts in 26 loans, the Russian avant-garde art in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent.

“A highlight in the new presentation,” called the Museum for Fine Arts in Ghent, the modernist works of art which, since 20 October in the new arrangement of the sitting. It is a exceptional package of 26 long-term loans, mainly paintings. They date from the period between 1910 and 1920, when the Russian art experimental hoogvlucht knew. On the art market must, these pieces are worth a fortune.

Since the opening of the new line-up talks in the museum world of the rumors. Russian modernist art, after the recent scandals with the counterfeits in a bad light. Look forward, is the motto. In our country, said no one in the public about the status of the artwork.

Over the last few weeks circulated internationally photos of the work under kunstexperten. They viewed the pieces of, among others, Malevich, Kandinsky, Tatlin, El Lissitzky, Goncharova and Larionov with a critical eye. Some of them came to Ghent to the paintings on the spot.

Ten specialists of Russian art publishing now an open letter. Among them prominent curators in London and New York, major exhibitions on Russian modernists made. Furthermore, there are researchers and art dealers specialising in Russian art. In their letter they call the exhibits ‘highly questionable’. They write that ‘almost every exhibited piece’ the same questions.

An approach like this is exceptional. Based on their expertise and designate the signatories to a recognized museuminstelling openly. Although it is not the word ‘false’ to use, it is suggested that it is better for the work out of the hall to catch up with, so that they ‘no longer the public are likely to mislead’. None of the work is known where they had been exhibited. They are not in overzichtscatalogi and there are no data about past sales.

Documentation files

The Museum of Fine Arts Ghent says that it is correct and in full confidence, has acted, and as is common in the museum world, in loans. Director Catherine de Zegher: “There is no prior chemical research in the lab. That only happens when a purchase where doubts about his and with the consent of the owner. In addition, that the site of the art market, and in our case, there is no commercial interest there.’

The museum says that the extensive talking with the Foundation, which manages and informed to the origin of the work. De Zegher: ‘The documentation files and the descriptions give a comprehensive background about the history and authenticity of each of the works. External experts have the collection visited, and they will continue to study.’ The question is whether the research is not fully completed should have been before the work the museum could.

The 26 works of art are long-term lent by the Foundation of Dieleghem. In that art have Igor (51) and Olga Toporovski (45) their immense collection is housed, which is about five hundred works of art it contains. The couple said in an interview with The Standard that they are the origin of each piece can substantiate with the necessary evidence.

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