Crimes Against Art: A New Book from Forgery Expert Noah Charney

There’s never been a worse time to be an authenticator: As recent blockbuster cases have shown, a slipup can mean millions in damages. Art-crime expert Noah Charney shares three landmark duperies from his new book, The Art of Forgery (Phaidon).

Courtesy National Gallery of Art
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Portrait of Vincent van Gogh

The piece that changed the authentication game: At a 1932 trial, two experts couldn’t agree on the legitimacy of Otto Wacker’s 30-plus “Van Gogh”s. 
A chemist, however, found conclusive proof of forgery, and sole reliance on expert opinion went the way of the dodo.