Prints fraud led by grandmother
In an art scam worth, according to one report, up to dollars 500m ( pounds 325m), a gang including her two daughters and granddaughter flooded the market with tens of thousands of 'limited edition' prints by Picasso, Chagall, Miro and Dali. They were sold world-wide by the Amiels' company, Original Artworks.
The story has been revealed in the US courts following an 18-month investigation by police. But Mrs Amiel, who took over the family business from her husband, died last January, before the trial began. One source said she was charged, but not tried, because she was dying of cancer.
The daughters, Kathryn Amiel, 49, and Joanne Amiel, 46, and granddaughter, Sarina Amiel, 25, have been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy charges and await what could be long sentences. Throughout the trial, they insisted they had no idea the artwork was counterfeit. Original Artworks sold works to more than 100 dealers. Collectors were duped into paying several thousand pounds for prints worth perhaps pounds 5. When police raided the company's warehouse, they found about 77,000 prints, including 50,000 'Dalis' and 20,000 'Miros'.
The prints are 'terrible', according to Constance Lowenthal of the International Foundation for Art Research in New York, who first came across one of the fakes about 10 years ago: 'I have one, a 'Dali', hanging on my wall, as a memento. The process by which they were produced is the same for colour printing that you have in any magazine.'
According to the Chicago Tribune, a large Miro print titled La Captive, sold for about dollars 12,000, showed that someone had used felt-tip to touch up the image.
A 1736 silver chandelier made by Balthasar Friedrich Behrens has been sold for pounds 2.27m by Christie's in Monaco, to the leading Al Tajir silver collection. Sold on behalf of the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, the chandelier set a record price for a piece of silver.
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...