Monday, 28 January 2008

'Artful codger' to be sentenced

From the Blackpool Gazette

A Bolton pensioner who fooled the art world for years by selling fake antiques his son had "knocked up" in his garden shed is due to be sentenced.
"Artful codger" George Greenhalgh, 84, would turn up in his wheelchair at art houses and museums claiming to have found or inherited the objects.

Greenhalgh's son, Shaun, faked the objects using art and history books, working from the family's modest terraced home.

Earlier this month George Greenhalgh was told a younger man would go to prison for such dishonesty.

The judge adjourned the case to make inquiries with the Prison Service to see if any jails would be able to actually take and "humanely" imprison a wheelchair-bound pensioner in poor health.

Greenhalgh admits conspiracy to defraud art institutions and money laundering between June 1989 and March last year.
Shaun Greenhalgh, 47, was jailed for four years and eight months last November, while Mr Greenhalgh's wife, Olive, 83, was given a suspended jail term of 12 months after pleading guilty to the same offences.

The family made at least £850,000 through their cottage industry, using the ruse to fool art experts for almost 18 years.

Their biggest success was managing to convince the local council-owned Bolton Museum to part with £440,000 for the Princess Amarna statuette.

The 20-inch piece was authenticated by the Egyptology department at Christie's and the British Museum as 3,300 years old and purportedly a figurine of the daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, the mother of King Tutankhamun. In fact it had been made by Shaun Greenhalgh in his shed over a three-week period.

No comments: