An exhibition of art crime investigation is under preparation at the Police Museum

16.9.2020 19.37 | Published in English on 17.12.2020 at 9.07

What is art crime and how is it investigated? How are forged artworks sold and who buys counterfeit art?

In spring 2021, an exhibition titled The coloured truth – Art crime in Finland will open at the National Police Museum. It will present the key incidents of art crime committed in Finland and the related police investigations.

- In art crime committed in Finland, the emphasis is on forged artwork and the related trade. In addition to forgery, criminal trade in art is linked to fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. Art crime may also be connected to organised crime, says Curator Juha Vitikainen from the National Police Museum.

- The amount of damage caused by art crime is significant: in Finland, the total value of criminal damage caused by art crime has been nearly EUR 20 million since 2009. In the 21st century, the networks of art crime detected in Finland have been the most widespread in the whole of Europe.

“Gallen-Kallela”, “Schjerfbeck” and “Picasso” on display

At The coloured truth – Art crime in Finland exhibition, the visitors have an opportunity to see counterfeit copies of work by artists such as Gallen-Kallela, Schjerfbeck, Picasso and Léger. All works are now part of the National Police Museum's collections. Originally, they were confiscated in connection with a pre-trial investigation and handed over to the state as instruments of crime.

The exhibition of art crime is not an art exhibition, but a portrayal of art crime and its history, as well as the investigations carried out by the police in cooperation with art experts. At the same time, the visitors will learn about the tricks of fraudsters in art trade and how to distinguish counterfeit artwork from an original.

The coloured truth – Art crime in Finland exhibition will open in spring 2021.

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