Last call: The Coloured truth exhibition on display until 16 December 2023

Publication date 10.10.2023 9.54
News item

Forged works by “Gallen-Kallela”, “Schjerfbeck” and “Picasso”, information about art crime cases, the related investigations and cooperation between the authorities – all this can still be explored at the Police Museum in Tampere until mid-December.

The Coloured truth – Art Crime in Finland exhibition will be on display until Saturday, 16 December 2023. The special exhibition presents art crime cases in Finland, the related pre-trial investigations by the police and cooperation between the authorities, including Finnish National Gallery curators. All forged artworks seen in the exhibition are now part of the Police Museum's collections.

“Originally, the forgeries have been confiscated by the police as instruments of crime. The Police Museum documents the artworks and includes some of them in the museum’s collections. We, curators at the Police Museum, decide which forgeries will remain in the collections and which ones will not. Representatives of the police and the Finnish National Gallery are involved in the assessment,” says Curator Juha Vitikainen.

Artworks may end up in the museum collections for example if the crime case has been significant and public or if the technique used in the forgery is special, and, on the other hand, if the forgery is typical. A forged artwork can also be included in the collections if it can be used as reference in criminal investigations later.

“This means that not all artworks will end up in the museum’s collections, but will be destroyed. People often ask us whether the artworks could be displayed somewhere for decorative purposes, but our answer is that forged artworks owned by the museum are only intended for museum use or use for the purposes of research and investigation. Otherwise there would be the risk that the works would be returned for sale to the art market.”

Some pieces from the Coloured truth exhibition will be destroyed after the exhibition at the museum, and others will be transferred to storage.

The next special exhibition will open in April

The next special exhibition at the Police Museum, “Marias and Mörkös”, will open at the end of April 2024. The exhibition will include a diverse display of police vehicles: cars, motorcycles, scooters, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. The oldest vehicle to be displayed is a 1963 model Renault Goelette, that served as a police van, a ‘Black Maria’ at Tampere Police Department. The same model has also been used as a criminal investigation department van for example by the Helsinki Police Department. One of the newest vehicles in the exhibition is a Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX, used by today’s motorcycle patrol officers. The motorcycle is used for educational purposes at the Police University College and will be displayed in the exhibition outside the motorcycle riding season.

“The “Marias and Mörkös” exhibition will reveal, for example, what antenna cars were, when the colour of police flashlight turned blue and when the blue-and-white colours became common on police vehicles. We will also explain the origin of the nicknames of police vehicles, Maria and Mörkö, included in the name of the exhibition,” says Curator Maritta Jokiniemi.

Police Museum Tampere