Artist 'lured by lies' to create forgeries

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The Independent Online
AN IMPOVERISHED art teacher has claimed he was lured into painting art forgeries by a man who said he was a nuclear scientist and an acquaintance of Margaret Thatcher.

The elaborate and sophisticated plot to defraud the art world involved copying works by artists such as Matisse, some of which were destined for the Tate Gallery in London.

John Myatt, who was paid pounds 100,000 to create the fakes, says he was lured by John Drew, who he believed was ahigh-flying businessman.

Mr Myatt, 53, from Sugnall, Stafford, who has admitted conspiracy, was giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court, London, as a prosecution witness. Mr Drew is accused of making a fortune by selling Mr Myatt's work as masterpieces with the help of fake provenances planted in museum archives.

John Bevan QC, for the prosecution, alleged Mr Drew took an "intellectual delight" in fooling one victim after another.

The trial continues today.