Half of the paintings in the museum of one of the pioneers of Fauvism Etienne Terryus in the south of France, according to the results of the expert examination, turned out to be a fake, reports the radio station France Bleu .
Fauvism (fauve – “wild”) – a direction in French painting of the late XIX – early XX centuries, characterized, according to contemporaries, “wild” expressiveness of colors. Etienne Terrius (1857-1922) – French artist from Roussillon, is considered one of the founders of Fauvism. At age 17, he went to study in Paris, but soon returned to his native Elne, where he wrote most of his work. His work was highly appreciated by such French artists as Andre Derain and Henri Matisse. The Museum of Terryus was opened in Elna in 1994.
In the authenticity of paintings by the landscape painter from Roussillon, the historian and art expert Erik Forkada, who participated in restoration works at the Terrius Museum in Elne (department of the Eastern Pyrenees), began to doubt for the first time. The commission of experts later found that 82 of the almost 200 paintings exhibited in the museum are a fake.
“It’s a disaster, I put myself in the shoes of everyone who visited the museum, who looked at the fake cloths, who paid for the admission ticket, whatever the price, it’s unacceptable. I hope that we can find the guilty ones,” said the Mayor of Elne Yves Barniol.
According to the radio station, the damage from the acquisition of counterfeit paintings is estimated at 160 thousand euros. City Hall filed a lawsuit for the forgery of art objects, copyright infringement and fraud. The Gendarmerie of the Eastern Pyrenees began investigation of a large-scale traffic of art objects, which, according to law enforcement agencies, was not limited to Terryus’s paintings.