Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Thu Oct 27, 2022 9:52 am

"The gentle art of forgery"
by Morley Safer
60 Minutes
Feb 23, 2014

Back in the 1970s, Morley Safer interviewed art forger David Stein, who divulged the secrets of his trade


In his lifetime the
great French impressionist painter Koro
painted 2,000 canvases of that number
more than 3000 are in the United States
the subject tonight is forgery the
gentle art of forgery a fascinating
subject that is as old as art itself and
what makes it fascinating is that we
know so little about it we can only talk
about unsuccessful forgeries how many
successful ones are hanging in museums
and private collections we can only
guess all those Kouros are a case in
point the thing about forgers is that
they hit us in the two most sensitive
parts of our Anatomy our pocketbook and
our aesthetics and they play upon our
least attractive quality greed one
hundred thousand I have it a hundred
thousand dollars for now a hundred
thousand dollars 100,000 100,000 and
practically every major sale new record
prices for artists for periods of art
are established that saw the bees and
Christie's in London at Parke Bernet in
New York old master works are knocked
down at auction for millions of dollars
nine hundred thousand 1 million get is
11 hundred thousand three hundred
thousand over here now two feet of
canvas can be inch 4 inch the most
valuable commodity in the world it's not
surprising then that the art market has
quietly attracted dollar-for-dollar
some of the world's most talented
scoundrels there's hardly a museum in
the world that has not in good faith
hung great master works actually painted
by great master forgers Rembrandt was
for a long time a tempting favorite for
Dutch forgers trained in the traditional
academic style of the master Botticelli
the preserve of the very very rich and
the very important museums has had some
remarkably talented admirers this is an
original by the great florentine master
this is a forgery made in the 30s not
discovered until the 60s and even what
must be the most famous painting in the
world La Gioconda the Mona Lisa
every few years a new one turns up whose
owner claims is the real one the
Leonardo is this the real one or is this
the da Vinci both are copies this is the
Mona Lisa the one hanging in the Louvre
which experts agree may not be the best
but is certainly the first detecting
forgeries of old masters has become a
relatively easy job technology can date
pigment and canvas even the dust and
soot that great forgers use to give the
impression of three or four hundred
years of time forgers of the period and
there have been forgers as long as
there's been painting are almost
impossible to detect then it becomes a
question of style over which generation
after generation of experts go to their
graves still arguing but the most
difficult mint catches the forger of
20th century paintings the
post-impressionist masters Picasso
Chagall Matisse and Modigliani walk into
any decent art shop you can buy the same
paper they use the same canvas the same
paint it could be argued that you don't
even have to be much of a painter to
paint in the manner of some of the
modern masters and that is the essence
of all art forgery not to simply copy a
painting by say Picasso but to sit down
and create out of the whole canvas an
entirely new Picasso one that he might
have painted some examples is this the
Chagall or this
is this the fake 20 glee Ani or this
did only Matisse paint this one or this
all the fakes we've seen were painted by
the same man his name
well I called from a confidential French
Interpol file number 506 stroke six one
only haddad born coulomb france alias
fille du crest born dijon alias George
de Launay born en France alias Michele
Laroy born niece his best known as David
Stein born Alexandria Egypt one of the
most charming villains ever to take
brush in hand and stroll down the seans
Alizee and Park Avenue and through the
salons of Palm Beach David Stein made a
career and a fortune out of selling
cut-rate paintings in the manner of the
modern masters it took one of the
artists he was forging to finally catch
him out and now Stein or Haddad or
whatever his name is has served prison
sentences in the United States and
France he lives in Paris David Stein is
still painting but today he paints under
his own name and signs these pictures
with his own name he no longer signs
Chagall or Modigliani or Picasso but for
the purposes of this broadcast we asked
him to paint for us a Chagall David how
would you have presented it to a gallery
or private collector well as an original
gouache by Marc Chagall David how did it
all start how did you get into art
forgery well I was working for a French
newspaper one day I wanted to find out
really where it was all about as far as
dealing with paintings and I did a
little bit castle drawing and I went to
see you and I'll dealer I knew in Paris
and I had sort of built up a story that
I got it from my aunt in turn and she
added from the castle in the South of
France and without any paper
authentication or nothing and just
bought it for $2,000 you think it's a
genuine Picasso any boat a forgery
and he bought it so easily that it's
unbelievable then I carried on from
there eventually I became successful in
Paris in the South of France and I went
to Italy Spain Austria England and I
sold all in all these countries how much
money do you think you made in the
United States when the investigation was
found out exactly how much spending
where sold and how much business we did
was exactly eight hundred and fifty
seven thousand dollars if close to a
million how come the dealers were so
easily fooled over the years well
because they want to make money they
don't you know they were very scrupulous
about making money so to say close their
if it if they have some suspicions about
a painting do you think that goes on
today still Oh
I said this is the hole out market is
like that what's the most anyone ever
paid you for a forgery there was a
painting which was a cigar oil which
went for eighty four thousand dollars
where is it now well I don't know
because actually this painting never
came up in the investigation to us all
in the United States
to whom
each was sold to a collector by the name
of LD Cohen this is hanging on his walls
today I don't know
LD Cullen lives in Palm Beach Florida
Palm Beach is considered one art dealer
told me as a con man's paradise the old
and the new money that has retired along
this Gold Coast may not know much about
art but it can afford just about
anything and like most of the very rich
they are constantly vigilant for a
so in David Stein seasoned art forger
went down to Palm Beach it was written
in the stars that he would meet LD : new
art collector
tell me about Stein it was his in my
appeal to you Stein is an absolute
genius this man is a in the common
parlance a con man par excellence he
suave he's good-looking he's talented he
has a flair for conversation now we had
a piano here he sat down he played
Chopin's music as beautifully as you
seen Rachmaninoff he's a great piano
player and on the moment's notice he can
toss off a Chagall or a Picasso you
never know the difference
and he met society here he was destitute
he immediately bought a Rolls Royce
which he never paid for he has Const
themself in a beautiful apartment and
the finest hotel the colony he
surrounded himself with beautiful women
and before you know it he was giving
great paintings to charity so he get in
the limelight and he enticed a lot of
people of ions he's really was a master
showman Stein says that you bought a an
eighty four thousand dollar oil by
Chagall from hell what an eighty four
thousand dollar oil painting I never
paid eighty four thousand dollars for
any painting in my life nor did I buy
any should go the highest I paid for a
French penny
was $45,000 for that vault at that you
saw I never bought any French rot
outside that one painting why would why
would Stein make that claim he said that
that was one of the counts that didn't
come up against him was never good it's
entirely new to me what you're saying
because I never water Chagall not price
range row we had little sketches ago
it's two three thousand dollars what
were prompted to say that I don't know
what benefit he would get in saying that
they do some other color Colin are cones
of common names no he said LD cold and
we called the other paintings I brought
my girls and the the doofy which was
good and the de Kirikou and the Picasso
but never bore a shag on that range
price range at all
at no time I forget how many counts the
word gets David to the original
indictment ninety or a hundred something
like that but do you think that there
were more people who bought pictures
from him who refused to come forward at
the time it's common knowledge nobody
hates to be the florid and usually when
they afford the hate to tell you they
were reported so I think there were
numerous amount of people here that were
taken in by Stein and will never report
people have an abhorrence to show they
would that they were fleeced you know
that that Seagal that you sold to mr.
Cohen of Palm Beach how long did it take
you to paint that picture about three or
four days and was that how long normally
did it take you to knock out a say a
Chagall drawing or a Picasso join or
just a few you know just a morning or an
afternoon essence a few hours how do you
think the artists themselves react
towards forgeries maybe you know the
story about the Picasso's and Gertrude
Stein one day he comes to Gertrude
Stein's place and then she said that she
just lost a little painting by Cezanne
representing an apple so I said she was
all lost about it you know furious and
so he said well don't worry I'll come
back in a couple of hours and I will
have this little painting done for you
which is what he did he came back and he
had painted a little Cezanne
it's probably now over somewhere in the
museum or in the collection as a Caesar
in fact he's a Picasso and it's a
forgery too
Stein did not believe in beginning small
one of his first acts on arriving in the
United States was to set himself up in
an expensive apartment and gallery on
Park Avenue he was penniless
his only collateral an armload of
paintings Stein proceeded to as they say
make the scene in New York net the right
people went to the right parties and
sold pictures to well-established
galleries when he was finally caught he
was indicted on 97 counts of grand
none of the dealers to whom he sold
pictures care to comment about Stein the
art business or forgery David Stein has
no compunction about talking do you
think that in principle the art dealers
the art world is anxious to expose
forgers like yourself no no I think that
they want to avoid all this a because it
kills their business because the old all
the business is wrong you see as far as
this ridiculous prices you put on
paintings or drawings when why these
artists - who has such a high quotation
and other artists who have real talent
as well can't make it because it's just
a speculation is to start sort of the
stock exchange with the Magnificent
collection you have why do you collect
art about four years ago when I started
the stock market was at a notoriously
high figure so I sold the stock in the
market and I bought the art the market
went down the Aquanaut David who are the
real victims are there really victims
the dealer's so you couldn't say that
the dealers are really victims you know
they make so much money anyway and that
they are they can't be victims so what
you were doing was playing on their
greed yes you can say that by offering
them cut-rate Picasso's and sugar and
other to Matisse and doofy and Vlaminck
and then down again and Cocteau's and
quite a bit quite a lot once you were
exposed did people refuse to believe
that they'd been taken were they just as
happy to look at a painting on the wall
and say that is not a David Stein it is
a Pablo Picasso yes I think that a lot
of people wanted to keep these paintings
that they even even knowing sometimes
that they were my fraud read like I have
an example for friend of mine he I sold
her had sold her a Chagall the people of
the District Attorney's Office went to
see her and asked her to give this
painting for evidence and she says no
it's not going to leave my walls I want
to keep this painting I don't care if
his side Marc Chagall or whatever I said
I like the painting I want to keep it
the woman who bought this picture is
Anki Johnson a wealthy New York
businesswoman she is a former wife of
Charles Revson the cosmetic tycoon when
David Stein admitted that he painted
this Chagall why did you not want to
bring charges against him why did you
prefer to keep the picture because I
loved to picture and I always liked your
girl and I couldn't see any difference
as a matter of fact when it was hanging
in my apartment of the shariah
Netherlands a very well-known AIA dealer
who I wouldn't say by name right now
because I don't think that would be fair
taught me that is Oh anchor you have a
marvelous Chagall there so and I think
why should you destroy something that
you like very much
so it doesn't make any difference - as
it really doesn't know I think a picture
if you like it if it's painted by a
Chagall or by David Stein at this time I
don't think it makes any difference
nobody can tell the difference it's just
the idea maybe that it's not worth the
money but I don't know I don't think
that's very important don't you think
it's extraordinary every victim of his
that I've spoken to yourself another
everyone who's met it myself the
district attorney at the time was now a
judge not one of these people have a bad
word to say about this man well it's a I
suppose he is a nice man it's just that
I think if he would have had a very rich
father that he wouldn't have had to do
this he just liked to live very well and
it was an easy way of making a lot of
money in a short time he didn't want to
take the time to really do his own work
and paint and you know started like the
starving artist that's not David Stein
style he would like to write around in a
Bentley live on Park Avenue
like we all like to do and he want to do
it in a hurry okay it's pretty much done
now the fine took this painting into a
gallery how much do you think a dealer
would offer me for it
well actually a painting like this one
we have quoted about thirty thousand
dollars now of course if you would take
it to a Gary yourself
they're probably bargained with you down
to twenty thousand or something do you
think there's any chance that if I
walked out of this studio now down
saint-germain and into a gallery I could
see a David Stein under the name of
Picasso for sale well there there's at
least it could be about two or three
hundred chances David Stein was finally
caught when he was in the process of
selling three Chagall's to a New York
dealer Marc Chagall himself happened to
be in New York at the time and was asked
to confirm or deny diabolical was all he
said but Madame Chagall was more
cautious she asked the dealer first
how much he paid for the pictures when
he quoted a bargain price she said how
could you believe there were Chagall's
at that price
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Oct 28, 2022 11:08 am

Part 1 of 2

Was Europe's First Advanced Civilization Faked? The Secret of the Phaistos Code.
A Film by Michael Gregor
Odyssey - Ancient History Documentaries
Oct 21, 2022

The Minoans have long been considered Europe's first advanced civilisation. However, a group of sceptics are now throwing that assumption into question.


This channel is part of the history hit Network.

[Narrator]They are among the masterpieces of our past. But what is genuine, and what is fake?

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] I found to my shock that so many pieces that, in my opinion, were ancient, were not ancient.

[Narrator] These works of art were found by ambitious archaeologists. Arthur Evans excavates the Palace of Knossos. He makes sensational discoveries, and raises money for new excavations. And, he's knighted by King George V.

In contrast, Luigi Pernier excavates at Phaistos, and he doesn't find anything really spectacular. Funding threatens to dry out, until he is able to present the Phaistos Disc, the oldest written artifact in Europe.

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] It was an incredible achievement of Pernier. He managed to excavate the entire palace in just a few years.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] It was for glory and for cash.

[Narrator] Evans and Pernier have brilliant restorers at their side: Gillieron, father and son. Did this quartet reinvent our past?


A Film by Michael Gregor

[Narrator] In 1900, Arthur Evans starts work on Excavating the Palace of Knossos. The British archaeologist has purchased a piece of land near Heraklion for this purpose. Evans is clearly interested in more than just archeology. Prestige back home is also important to him. He quickly produces some spectacular finds. Evidence of an ancient high culture which had previously only been described in myths and legends. According to the ancient tales, the labyrinth of Knossos was home to the Minotaur, half-man and half bull, who lurked there waiting for human sacrifices. Evans is thrilled by the discovery. And for him, there is no doubt that the ruins of a magnificent culture will now re-emerge on the island of Crete. The Empire of King Minos in ancient times, symbolizing luxury and abundance. Meanwhile, in the south of Crete, Italian archaeologists have rediscovered the Palace of Phaistos. For them, in this period of nationalism, the reputation of Italian archeology is at stake.

[workers speaking in foreign language]

Just as Arthur Evans did in Knossos, the chief excavator, Luigi Pernier, is determined to find something unique. And Pernier achieves his aim. Today, in the Cretan capital Heraklion, his disc forms the main attraction for visitors to the National Museum, an icon of Minoan culture comparable to the bust of Nefertiti in Berlin. However, dissent can be heard to this very day. Some people claim the Phaistos Disc is a hoax. But if that is true, who could have been involved? The British archaeologist had the experienced restorer Emile Gillieron, at his side. And the popular image we have today of Minoan life is due to Gillieron's work under Evan's supervision. But was it really like that? Today, experts are critical of Gillieron's methods.

Emile Gillieron's staggering career begins in 1877, when the Swiss man arrives in Athens. The city is undergoing an astonishing revival during this decade. Now that Greece is independent from the Ottoman Empire, wealthy citizens are investing in education and the arts. In the shadow of the Acropolis, a millionaire, who is later to achieve great fame, has a magnificent villa constructed. Heinrich Schliemann made a fortune trading in golden arms. Now he plans to make a dream from his youth come true by rediscovering Troy and Mycenae, the cities of Homer's heroes. The young Emile Gillieron hopes to find employment with Schliemann. Schliemann tests his abilities. At least, this is the story that has come down to us. The archaeologist presents Gillieron with three fragments from a fresco, and demands nothing less than a reconstruction of the entire picture. At first Gillieron is bewildered, but then Emile produces a sophisticated reconstruction from his own imagination. He draws a charioteer with a spear. Schliemann is delighted. "That's what it must have looked like!" But then Gillieron suddenly sketches a temple guard. What's more, this isn't the last draft. He carries on producing various alternatives, until the irritated Schliemann finally hires him.

After Schliemann's death, Arthur Evans has Gillieron brought to Crete. Evans has experienced a stroke of good fortune. Not long after starting the excavations, he made some significant finds. Now the fragments need to be reconstructed. Emile Gillieron can carry on in Knossos in the same way that he worked for Schliemann.

His son accompanies him to Crete. The young man is also called Emile. The island is a paradise for archaeologists. Emile Jr. trains his eye on classical structures which have just been excavated, and on the expressive faces of the locals. It becomes apparent that young Emile has inherited from his father not only a talent for drawing, but also entrepreneurial skills. And a certain unscrupulous attitude when dealing with the truth, as later critics will claim. Gillieron is quite prepared to make his employer a hero, if that's what he wants. Emile Jr. draws incessantly, neatly, and with an obsession for detail. Years later, he will take his father's place in the team that is tirelessly excavating Knossos. For four decades, father and son Gillieron, dominate the image of ancient Crete that has become known worldwide, and is still popular today, despite its discrepancies that "of a paradise island, in the midst of the wine dark sea, a fair land, and a rich beget with water," as the poet Homer proclaimed.

The French Archaeological Institute in Athens is a meeting point for artists and scientists. Its director is Alexandre Farnoux. Only a few days ago, the archaeologists gained access to the former private archives of the Gillieron family, so he can provide an expert evaluation.

[Alexandre Farnoux, Director, The French Archaeological Institute in Athens] This is the order book of Gillieron Senior. It's the original form of the catalog used by the Gillierons to offer copies of the archaeological finds. This book contains all the important objects discovered during the excavations, complete with photographs of the restored pieces, and explanations. Here, for example, it says "vase from Pylos" documented by the former German archaeologist Muller. Then it states the size of the vase, and price.

[Narrator] For a long time, archaeologists were only able to provide reasonably accurate depictions of the original archaeological finds with the help of illustrators, who sketched them and used watercolors. So, Gillieron Sr. is in the right place at the right time, and with the right people to develop his talents to the full. He has to capture the shades of color, and the intensity, precisely at the moment of discovery. The skillful illustrator quickly finds an artistic mode of expression for the style of Bronze Age Crete. At least the way his boss Evans pictures the Empire of King Minos.

[Prof. Alexandre Farnoux, Archaeologist] This is a drawing by hand made directly from the original of the Fresco. With the outlines of the excavated fragments, and the additions that Gillieron has suggested in order to recreate the picture. The Minoan tradition of bull-leaping, involved acrobats racing straight towards the animal and jumping over it. This dangerous practice was part of the religious cult rituals, and could end in death.

Europe and the USA quickly became gripped by Cretan fever. The newly-discovered works of art inspire artists and fashion designers, although others dismiss it all as merely a kind of archaeological fantasy-land.

[Prof. Alexandre Farnoux, Archaeologist] The Gillierons produced drawings as if on a conveyer belt, which they then embellished with watercolors. Here's the famous detail from the "Procession Fresco." It was a kind of exercise in graphics, which was then reproduced and sold everywhere in Europe.

[Narrator] The Lily Prince is a revealing example of Gillieron's working method. Gillieron simply reinvented the figure.

[Prof. Alexandre Farnoux, Archaeologist] In the case of the "Lily Prince Fresco", we now know precisely that it has in fact been composed from completely different frescoes. Gillieron did it because that's what Evans wanted in order to illustrate the Minoan Empire. And we experts are still impressed by it, even though the background is much better known today.

[Narrator] Arthur Evans continues to excavate. Utterly convinced that he has a mission to perform, Evans hardly appears bothered by scruples. Non-Minoan architecture is simply disposed of. He names ruins at the palace but his sole discretion. When an alabaster throne is found, Evans immediately declares it to be the Throne of King Minos, although there is no evidence of the throne's function, or even of the existence of King Minos.

He doesn't have to wait long to achieve recognition back home. King George V Knights him.

Luigi Pernier has far greater difficulties to deal with. In the south of the island where he is excavating, the coastline is bleak and uninviting. The early archaeologists here have to be good climbers, because many of the sites are in remote valleys, or on high mountains, where access is extremely difficult. Beyond the mountains lies the Libyan sea. This ocean connected the Minoans with the developed cultures of the near East and Egypt, but it also provided protection against foreign invaders.

Professor Diamantis Panagiotopoulos has been studying the history of Crete in this area for decades. His arduous expeditions along dusty tracks have proved worthwhile, because away from the major palace complexes, there are many cult sites that have still hardly been subject to expert investigation. The mountains along the coast were always a bulwark. In the past, they held back invaders intent on attacking Crete. While today, they make it difficult for curious travelers to make any progress. The inhabitants of Crete have always formed a closed community towards strangers. At the same time, anyone who wants to excavate here could hardly make any progress without local assistance. The Greek Professor from Heidelberg has many friends on the island. The knowledge they share with him has been passed down from generation to generation. Countless caves lie hidden in the mountains. In many cases, the entrances are only known to shepherds. The Cretans have always regarded caves as sacred places. Gods were born in them, including the father of all the gods, Zeus. Archaeologists still come across surprising finds in these sacrificial sites. Double-sided cult axes made from bronze or gold. And bare-breasted priestesses in clay. Or are these representations of goddesses? They provide fuel for the myth that Crete was a matriarchy, a society governed by women. Professor Panagiotopoulos's excavation site is at the edge of the mountains above the Messara Plain. Today, many of the locals are leaving the area. A large number of villages have been abandoned. However, during the Minoan period there was a flourishing settlement here on the hilltop. The remains have been excavated and studied.

[Prof. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos] What interests us is the question, "Why a certain region was of great importance at some periods in history, while in other periods it was abandoned?"

[Narrator] It is not due to the climate. This has hardly changed on Crete over the last 4,000 years. And yet, after the decline of the Minoan culture, Crete never again achieved the importance it had enjoyed during its golden age.

[Prof. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos] Crete is still a puzzle for us archaeologists, even 100 years after the first major discoveries at the beginning of the 20th century. It's pretty amazing that a developed culture arose here, which could justifiably be compared with the great cultures of the orient.

[Narrator] For thousands of years, the fertile soil of the Messara Plain has been a source of prosperity. This was the basis of both the cultural development and political power. Crete is on the crossroads of ancient trading routes. Since the Cretans had a large fleet of ships, trade with people all around the Mediterranean flourished. This was how the first major culture of Europe arose, with its population established early on in centers such as Knossos and Phaistos. And Phaistos is where the greatest puzzle of the Minoan empire was found. Luigi Pernier's disc.

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] Italian archeology on Crete began in a very special historical situation. Greece had achieved independence from Turkey in the middle of the previous century. Then Crete was divided into several protectorates: Italian, French, and British. It was due to this environment that archaeologists from Italy were able to work without any obstacles. These early archaeologists, like Luigi Pernier, had to explore Crete on the back of donkeys. They had to struggle against malaria, and other unimaginable difficulties.

[Narrator] In the year 1900, when Luigi Pernier lands on Crete, the island is still officially ruled by the Ottoman Turks. At that time, the idea that the first High culture of Europe had once blossomed here, appears unbelievable. And yet, Pernier discovers evidence of this past everywhere. During the Roman period, the Messara Plain was ruled from Gauteng. Here is the Great Code [Gortyn Code], the oldest legal text in Europe. This was rediscovered by Federico Halbherr, a leading Italian archaeologist. Originally Pernier worked for him. This find was to make Halbherr famous. In Phaistos, Luigi Pernier is at first only the deputy on excavations led by Halbherr. Pernier is regarded as extremely ambitious. He is descended from a family of Roman Aristocrats with French roots. His opportunity arises when Halherr becomes involved in a political intrigue. The affair leaves Pernier the new boss in Phaistos. He prepared for his mission at the famous Sapienza University in Rome, studying literature and archeology. Today, the linguist and archaeologist Alessandro Greco teaches here.

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] During the period from 1800 to 1700 BC, Crete was a cultural focal point. This was known as the New Palace period, when the major structures were built whose ruins can still be seen today.

[Narrator] It was in these palaces that archaeologists found clay tablets with what became known as Linear A script. And despite decades of research, to this day it has not been possible to decipher this written language. Alessandro Greco is therefore obliged to try a different route. He is analyzing all visual information that has been found so far, in order to gain knowledge about the religion, social structure, and everyday life of the Minoans. His main problem here is that virtually all authentic images are only available in miniature format.

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] We don't know who's depicted here. Is it a king, or queen, a prince, or a God? And we don't know how their minds worked.

[Narrator] Even the visual language of the rings is still puzzling. The function is known. They were used by rulers to place their seals on documents and letters.

At Heidelberg University, Professor Diamantis Panagiotopoulos is evaluating his series of excavations. He occupies the famous Chair of Classical Archeology here. The Practical work of an archaeologist includes analyzing and archiving the finds. In Heidelberg, a scientific mega project is being performed involving 130 experts from 13 countries. This is the famous Corpus of Minoan and Mycenaean Seals, a gigantic collection of data, including hundreds of thousands of photographic negatives and 9,000 prints from clay seals.

[Prof. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos] It's a collection of the most varied materials, forms, and above all patterns in the images on clay seals, which provides us with a wealth of extremely important information about the social structures, ideologies, and mentalities of these societies. Of course, there are a number of signet rings which cannot be guaranteed in terms of authenticity. We compare these problematic examples with seals from systematic archaeological excavations, objects which have been proven to be authentic.

[Narrator] The work of these experts often resembles the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack. The collection also contains a ring with an inscription that has not been deciphered. The spiral shape in script form resembles that of the Phaistos Disc. Does this ring indicate that Pernier's mysterious clay disc is genuine? One of the problematic examples is the Ring of Minos, which has been suspected for many years of being a forgery. Arthur Evans bought the gold ring from a priest, although many experts warned him against doing so. Today, the Ring of Minos is in Heraklion Museum. If it really is a modern forgery, who might the forger have been? In this case too, the name of Gillieron is on the list of main suspects. Were the Gillierons engaged in forgery for decades? Final proof is contained in the Heraklion Museum, but it cannot be accessed. The British archaeologist and linguist Gareth Owens has made Crete his second home. The focus of his research is on early scripts from the Minoan period, like the disc. The Phaistos Palace complex exerts an almost magic attraction over him.

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] The Minoan civilization of the second millennium BC is based around the palatial economy. And the palaces like we are here in Phaistos is the center of bureaucracy and religion.

[Narrator] Gareth Owens knows every inch of the ruined palace. For decades he has studied each detail here, such as the so-called Queen's Throne Room. Pithoi like this were used to store the commercial wealth of the Cretans. To this day, traditional urns are produced from clay as they have been for thousands of years. The craftsman in the ancient palace workshops became masters of this art, and their reputation even reached as far as the court of the Egyptian pharaohs, who ordered clay vases and silver bowls from Crete.

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] The Minoan palaces and the economy of Crete is based very much on agricultural products. Very excellent olive oil and wine, still very good today indeed. They were keeping it here in the storerooms. They were exporting throughout the Mediterranean very widely indeed, traveling throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Very, very international. The first palace was very rich, destroyed about 1700 BC, which is probably the date of the Phaistos disc, and it's no surprise that writing is developed in this southern part of Crete.

[Narrator] This first palace at Phaistos was constructed in 1900 BC. 200 years later, a huge earthquake caused it to collapse. The doors and ceilings were made of wood, and they were set on fire by the flames from the oil lamps. It must have been an inferno.
Although the building has been constructed in a special way, it could not withstand the massive earthquake. The fire spread at incredible speed. The inhabitants fled in panic, but nevertheless many did not survive. The entire palace complex was ruined.

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] The Phaistos Disc is part of that destruction horizon, importantly, deliberately baked. Not accidentally baked, like the destruction level that saved the other linear tablets. It was actually found with a linear tablet, and with really nice Kamares-style pottery. And this part of the palace seems to be for storing valuable objects.

[Narrator] It was found lying together with numerous other artifacts, indicating to Pernier that the disc had fallen from one of the upper stories. But attempting to reconstruct the catastrophe scenario raises new problems. How could a fragile clay disc survive a fall of several meters, and crash down onto a hard stone floor without any apparent damage? A crucial question that neither Luigi Pernier nor his successor in Phaistos, were ever able to answer satisfactorily.

In New York, Jerome Eisenberg deals in ancient artifacts. This internationally renowned specialist has spent decades studying items to establish whether they are genuine, or forgeries.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] It's been fired very thoroughly, very evenly. And the only time ancient tablets were fired was during a fire, and they'd be unevenly fired. And the edges are very, very sharp. And you wouldn't have any ancient tablet, anything made out of clay with sharp edges, that could easily be damaged. It had too many things wrong with it. If you have two or three things that don't make sense, I can accept it. But when you have eight or nine different things that are wrong with the piece, then I certainly would condemn it as a forgery.

[Narrator] If Eisenberg's suspicions are correct, it would mean that Luigi Pernier falsified the exploration record. However, it is also conceivable that he himself was tricked. To this day it has not been established exactly who was present at the excavation when the object was found.

Alessandro Greco thinks it inconceivable that Pernier himself faked the object.

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] It was an incredible achievement of Luigi Pernier's, to excavate and even evaluate the entire palace within the space of just a few years.

[Narrator] In addition to his excavation activities, Luigi Pernier was also employed in Florence as an antiques inspector. His jurisdiction included the city's archaeological museum. Finds from the Etruscan period have pride of place in the collection here. The Etruscans were among the most powerful people around the Mediterranean. Paola Rendini is a specialist in a Etruscan script. In the magazine, Dr. Rendini and the museum director study one of the most valuable items, the Magliano Disc. It represents one of the most important examples of Etruscan script. Today, the 70 words can be read, while in the days of Luigi Pernier this was not possible. At eight centimeters in diameter, it is half the size of the Phaistos Disc. The words and sentence sections are separated by dots, while on the Phaistos Disc, vertical lines are used.

[Dr. Paola Rendini, Archaeologist] It was found at the end of the 19th century in 1882. The Archaeological Museum in Florence bought it in 1888. It's an extraordinary object because the disc is made of lead. It measures 8x7 centimeters. This isn't very large, but it contains one of the oldest examples of Etruscan writing known to us. Near the location where this was found, an Etruscan cemetery was discovered with even older graves, from the late 7th and early 6th Century BC.

[Narrator] This cult object originated a thousand years after the palace fire in Phaistos. Cultural exchange between Etruscans and Minoans would appear extremely unlikely. Consequently, the great similarity between the two discs is inexplicable. However, while he was working in Florence, Luigi Pernier could have studied the Magliano Disc extensively before he discovered the Phaistos Disc in Crete. As far as Jerome Eisenberg is concerned, this is a crucial clue.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] It has many unique characteristics it. It has nothing to do with any other work of ancient art. Physically, it's the only large disc that's found in the Near East or in the Mediterranean area. Nobody can decide what it is, and where it came from.

Evidence for suspect authenticity:

1) peculiarity of the object
2) punctuations at beginning/end of lines and at various heights
3) abbreviations not elsewhere attested
4) dimensions not corresponding to ancient units of measurement
5) seriality

The genuineness of the object is, in my view, challenged by at least four elements -- or rather five -- which I was able to detect after an accurate inspection. First, its peculiarity. In fact, this tablet does not belong to any of the well-known categories of the so-called instrumentum inscription. It is not a Tabla Lusoria -- a game board. It is not a Tessera hospitalis -- a hospitality token, nor a Tessera Nummularia -- a bronze tag for money changers. It is not a Signaculum, a stamp, because it is not written in reverse order, and it has no handle. Likewise, it is not a label to be attached to an object, because it is written on both sides. And it was not tied to an object, since it has no hole. And so it is quite impossible to define the typology of this artifact, which for the sake of simplicity, we shall simply call a "tablet." The Second point: its punctuation. Punctuation marks are located at the beginning and at the end of the lines at various heights, and this is not how the Romans usually punctuate their texts. Third, the sequence of single letters on the back cannot identify with any of the abbreviations commonly used for Latin epigraphy in the early Imperial times. And Fourth, the dimensions and the weight of the object do not correspond to ancient Roman units. And this is quite a strong argument, in my view, in favor of the falseness of these objects.

Indeed, to these four considerations one might add one final point, that of seriality. Seriality and repetitiveness can often be identified as markers of forgery. Forgers often fabricated more than one sample of their counterfeit products, which may now be inadvertently considered to be genuine artifacts in different parts of the world. For instance, in archaeological museums. So, of course, there are inscriptions which were produced in more than one copy in ancient times, but generally speaking, one should always be cautious when identical, or even slightly different texts, can be found on different physical objects  

-- Epigraphic Criticism and the Study of Forgeries: A Historical Perspective, by Lorenzo Calvelli

[Narrator] One of Pernier's successors at the Italian excavation site in Phaistos, also finds the disc extremely puzzling.

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] The disc is a unique object, with a unique inscription, for Crete and the entire Eastern Mediterranean. It's a script that features open syllables, like ka-ke-ki-ko-ku, or ta-te-ti-to-tu. It probably originated In Crete, because all other Cretan scripts, such as linear A and B, are also the open syllable type.

[Narrator] In the Heraklion Museum, the disc is the main attraction. It is 3,600 years old, according to the museum. The inscription is said to be a prayer, a record of battles, or an archive register. What is known for certain is that the disc has a diameter of 16 centimeters, and is stamped with 45 different symbols arranged in a spiral from the outer rim to the center, forming a total of 242 stamped impressions.

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] Too many signs for an alphabet. Too few signs for a system like Chinese or Egyptian. So what we decided to do was to try to progress with systematic epigraphic work. So if a sign is the same in different scripts, it has the same sound value. And those 45 signs, the sound values can be found amongst the 90 sound values of Linear B, which is a script of roughly the same time, from the same place, which has been deciphered.

[Narrator] While the linguistics expert believes there may soon be a breakthrough, Jerome Eisenberg sees examples of suspicious errors.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] This inscription basically goes from right to left, as in Egyptian hieroglyphs. On the other hand, Minoan script a Linear A and Linear B are read from left to right. These are all too highly realistic to be in an ancient script. This is an interesting symbol. This is a gloved hand, or a caestus in Latin, which only occurs in the Roman period, which is about 1500 years later. They just don't make sense together.

[Narrator] If Jerome Eisenberg is right, how could the forger have achieved this? It must have been somebody familiar with classical script types. Obtaining the raw material for the clay disc wouldn't have been a problem. There are potters close to Phaistos. If the price were high enough, they would have remained silent. Luigi Pernier had access to the excavation records, and might have desired the fame for himself, and for Italy. Whether he had the necessary handicraft skills to produce the forgery himself is doubtful. While the spiral pattern almost looks as though it was produced by a child, the symbols were printed with seals molded in a sophisticated process. Jerome Eisenberg believes Pernier commissioned the work at most.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] It was said that Gillieron was present at the time the disc was discovered, and that Pernier was not, that he was probably taking a nap.

[Narrator] The exact circumstances when the Phaistos Disc was found can't be established definitively. No archaeologist was a direct witness. It may be significant that the Gillierons are once again directly implied in archaeological forgery. Did their greed overpower their moral scruples?

Evidence of the Gillierons' salesmanship can be found in the Humboldt University in Berlin. The archaeologist Nadine Becker, is researching the purchase of artifacts by the university during the pre-war period. The Wincklemann Institute is proud of its lavishly-made copies from the Gillieron workshops. They are objects of study for experts and students, all in original sizes, like the throne of King Minos. These exclusive replicas came at a price. Catalogues, purchase orders, and correspondence with the Gillierons have been preserved to this day in the archives. Original invoices and customs documentation indicate the astonishing sums the Gillierons demanded, which were paid by the buyers. Using a process which was technically revolutionary at the time, the metal copies were produced by a galvanoplastic method in the Wurttemberg Metalware Factory, WMF. The Gillierons sold the exclusive items to their international customers for outrageous prices. But the Gillierons did not only place replicas on the market.

Experts at the renowned museums of Boston and Toronto, have also found indications of criminal activities.

[Speaker 1] The museum purchased her in 1931.

[Speaker 2] She's a beautiful piece of work, isn't she?

[Speaker 1] Sir Arthur Evans called her "Our Lady of Sports."

[Speaker 2] You know, another interesting thing here is the fact that she's wearing this gold codpiece. Now that codpiece, in fact, is a penis sheath.

[Speaker 1] Oh! Not quite appropriate.

[Speaker 2] Not entirely appropriate. And it's also interesting that the majority of the ivories that turned up, you know, early in the 20th Century AD, are female figures. And this is because Sir Arthur Evans was very much looking for representations of a prominent female deity, this mother goddess. And that's probably why he called her "Our Lady of Sports," because it's a direct reference to the Virgin Mary.

[Narrator] The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Here too, an ivory figure from the Minoan period was part of the collection -- until recently. It has now been banished to the archives. Quite a comedown for the "Snake Goddess."

[Speaker 2] So what made you suspicious?

[Speaker 1] Especially strange is the damage to her face. The proper left side, you can see, has kind of sheared away. And ivory flakes. This is what ivory does. But the features that survived there are centered on what survives. But if that damage took place after the carving, rather than before the carving, what survives should be asymmetrical, or damaged. The scientific analyses are quite interesting. And I was really surprised when they came back. If the statuette is ancient, the ivory should date to about 1450 BC. When the results came back, they were really surprising, because they did come back at 1450, but AD, not BC. So the ivory that was tested, if not a corrupt sample, is far too recent to be ancient Minoan ivory.

[Speaker 2] So who do you think made her?

[Speaker 1] Well, it would have to be someone who is very familiar with the archaeological material. I believe that the father-son team, the Gillierons, who worked for Evans, and had a very profitable business in making replicas, were well-positioned to create forgeries like this.

[Narrator] Jerome Eisenberg feels this investigation confirms his views.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] I attended an exhibition of ancient art in Boston, in Cambridge, and I was shocked at how many pieces, in my opinion, were forgeries. Between 1958 and 1965, I bought some 40,000 pieces, and of those some 22,000 came out of Egypt, and I became rather expert on detecting the forgeries.

[Narrator] Are visitors to the museum in Heraklion admiring a sophisticated forgery, as Jerome Eisenberg claims? However, recent archaeological discoveries could indicate that the disc is genuine. A bronze axe is also kept in Heraklion. On the head of the double ax there are three lines with overlapping signs engraved upon them. Linguistic experts like Gareth Owens see a parallel here with the stamped symbols on the disk.

Gareth Owens and his colleagues have withdrawn to within sight of ancient Phaistos in order to resolve the last mystery of the oldest script in Europe. Now he believes he has finally achieved the breakthrough. He considers that the texts on the disc can be deciphered and read.

[Researcher speaking in foreign language]

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] What we have here is definitely a Minoan prayer, because we found these words elsewhere on Minoan Crete, as well. We have a Minoan prayer for a goddess. My suspicion is that it could be the Minoan Astarte. And IQEKURJA, which is the key word on the Phaistos Disc, could well mean pregnant goddess. IQE is known from Linear B to be the word for goddess. And KURJA, kuria, could be the word for pregnant. This wouldn't be surprising when we think that the words on the Phaistos disc were also found on the top of mountains where Minoan people were making dedications, tamata, to the goddess on the top of the mountains. Another attribute of Astarte: she is the Queen of the Mountain.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Part 2 of 2

[Narrator] Mount Juktas Towers over Knossos. The mountain is a magical place. It is said that the father of the Gods, Zeus, is buried here. For thousands of years, people have been attracted to the mountain peak, which, from a distance, resembles a sleeping man. Gareth Owens also returns to this place repeatedly. On one side of the mountain, an orthodox chapel with three naves was constructed. Archaeologists then discovered that a sacred edifice with three naves stood on the same site during the Minoan period, almost 4,000 years ago.

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] It's fascinating to look at the offerings and think that what the Greek Orthodox people are doing today is similar to what the Minoans were doing 36 centuries ago. People don't change. They worry about the same thing. There is continuity. People are worried about their health, and they're asking a higher power for help. And some of the words that have been found on the Minoan inscription, on the same holy mountain, on a very small libation offering that they were doing there, and they were dedicating with parts of the body, but at that time made from clay, not just from silver, have also been found on the B side of the Phaistos disc.

[Narrator] Not long ago, an apparently insignificant sacrificial bowl was discovered. Linguistic symbols that had not been encountered previously are engraved on it. They are almost identical to those on the disc. A forger 100 years ago could not possibly have known these signs. Does this mean the disc is now accepted as genuine?

[Dr. Alessandro Greco, Archaeologist] The Phaistos Disc is a problem.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] The clay is not the same clay as found on Crete. We don't know where the clay came from, because we don't have an analysis of it. And the museum will not allow us to take any test on the disc, or even to handle it.

[Narrator] Berlin, the Egyptian Museum. Rumors have begun to circulate that the bust of the beautiful Nefertiti is a forgery. A scientific investigation will provide a definitive answer, despite the high risk of moving the precious object. With great care, and with extensive security measures in place, the highlight of the museum is taken to the Charite Hospital in Berlin. Here, the bust of the woman reputed to be the most beautiful of all, is subjected to computer tomography. The proof that is so important for the Museum Island of Berlin is now forthcoming. The world-famous bust is not a fake from modern times. The risk and the expense have been worthwhile.

The museum Halle is also posed with a problem. The Museum houses what it believes is a sensational object: the Nebra sky disk, a bronze disc adorned with representations of the heavenly bodies in gold. This incredible find was brought to light by grave robbers, and now there are claims that the disc could be a forgery. An analysis using scientific techniques will resolve the matter. The extensive technical study is performed in the BESSY particle accelerator in Berlin. By employing high-intensity x-rays, the composition of the gold plating can be determined without damaging it. In this way, conclusive proof is obtained: the sky disc is the oldest known calendar of mankind.

What about the disc which is the main attraction in Heraklion?

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] On the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the disc, 1908 to 2008, I wrote again to the director of the museum, and he said that that since it's a national treasure, it can't be touched or moved. And if it turned out to be a forgery, it would be a disaster for tourism even.

[Narrator] Year after year, millions of tourists come to the island of Crete. Tourism is the most important commercial activity, securing half the entire income of the island. Knossos, Phaistos, and the museum in Heraklion, are huge public attractions, important features of this mega-business. Critical questions? They're not welcome. Thus it is that an air of suspicion continues to hang over the collection in the national museum. Is the beautiful world of the Minoans depicted here a mere invention thought up by Arthur Evans and Luigi Pernier, put into practice by the Gillierons?

[Geraldine Norman] In Auvers, Vincent stayed in a little auberge [inn] run by the Ravoux family. He lived there for just over two months and is credited with having painted eighty-three pictures -- which means more than a picture a day. Some of them must be fakes, and were probably painted by the Gachet circle. Dr. Gachet was a painter, and so was his son Paul known as Coco. After he had shot himself, Vincent struggled back to the auberge mortally wounded.

[Dominique Janssens, Institut Van Gogh, Auvers-Sur-Oise] Adeline, the daughter of the innkeeper, had seen that he was [inaudible]. That's why she came up to his room to check what happened. And then they called the local doctor. And the local doctor didn't want to take care of Vincent, because everybody in the village knew it was Dr. Gachet who takes care for the painters. So Dr. Gachet came over, and then when he had seen there was nothing to do, he asked the neighbor, [Perchick?], to go to Paris to pick up Theo. So Theo arrived at about 12 o'clock, and at one o'clock in the morning he died here in his room. Now Dr. Gachet came over with his son, and he said to his son, "roll, Coco." Because the more he was rolling the paintings, the more he could bring them back home. And that's how he got a collection of paintings on Van Gogh, which are today in the museum at Orsay.

[Geraldine Norman] Dr. Gachet and his son seemed to have taken as many paintings as they could. Gachet specialized in mental illness and homeopathy, but had been a keen amateur painter since his student day. His home attracted many artists, including Renoir, Pissarro and Cezanne, who came to him for medical advice, and loved experimenting with his etching press. Dr. Gachet died in 1909, but his son lived on in the house, becoming more and more eccentric and reclusive. He never had a job, and seems to have lived off selling the pictures and antiques that his father had crammed into the house. One villager, who has devoted her life to the study of local history, is Madame Claude [Migon?].

[Madame Claude (Migon?)] [Speaking French] He wouldn't tolerate people coming to the house. Not even local tradesmen, or people interested in the works.

[Geraldine Norman] [Speaking French] How could he live like that? He had to eat!

[Madame Claude (Migon?)] [Speaking French] It's a mystery. Like many things in this man's life. He was truly his father's son.

[Geraldine Norman] He kept very quiet very quiet about the Van Goghs, until he made a series of donations to French national collections in the 1950s. His gifts, now in the Musee d'Orsay, include works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Pissarro, and Cezanne. He also gave the nation paintings by his father and himself. He signed his pictures, including copies of works by other artists, with the pseudonym Louis Van Ryssel. His father called himself Paul van Ryssel. The museum has reacted to the controversy by having the Gachet Van Goghs scientifically investigated, and announcing that they will mount an exhibition of all Gachet's donations to public institutions in the autumn of 44:30 1998. This is sure to spark another explosive argument.

[Dominique Janssens, Institut Van Gogh, Auvers-Sur-Oise] You have seen when you walk up to the cemetery, the countryside is exactly how it was a hundred years ago. Japanese, they don't come only to visit, but also to bring offers for Vincent. And certain days we just clean the cemetery. And you have lots of little pots of sake, brushes, and also a lot of Japanese who died in in Japan, their dream is to be buried with Vincent. So a lot of Japanese bring over the ashes here, and then they put it on the graves of Vincent and Theo.

[Geraldine Norman] The number of Japanese tourists who come to worship at the van Gogh shrine in Auvers, got a big boost when Yasuda bought the sunflowers in 1987. It will be a terrible disappointment to the nation if they discover their famous sunflower picture is not really by Van Gogh.

[To Tom Hoving, Ex-Director Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC] What do you think Yasuda is going to say if they actually have to face the fact that they are landed with a fake?

[Tom Hoving, Ex-Director Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC] Oh, I don't think they'll face it. I think they hope it'll go away. I do not think that the people in charge of the insurance company are going to let regiments of experts in to take it off the exhibition, and look at it, and maybe even do some analysis, and so on. I just don't think they're gonna do that. I think it would be a very great loss of face. I think the picture was purchased because the only other Vincent van Gogh in Japan prior to the United States firebombing of Tokyo, was a sunflowers, which was destroyed.

[Geraldine Norman] It is said that the painting was relined after its arrival in Japan, which may mean that important evidence has been lost.

We asked Yasuda if we could talk to them about this, and our views on the sunflowers problem. Yasuo Goto, the chairman of the company, replied, "We have no intention of participating in any discussion of sunflowers' authenticity, as we hold no doubts whatsoever that it is genuine. We also have no intention of answering the questions mentioned in your letter." I personally find it impossible to believe that the Yasuda sunflowers is by Van Gogh. There's too much evidence against it. It's not mentioned in the letters, or other early documents. It first appears in the hands of Emile Schuffenecker, whose name has long been linked with faking. And it is generally agreed that it is visually inferior to the other two. It does disturb me, however, that so many experts still think it genuine. They aren't talking to each other, and don't know each other's arguments. Which is why the muddle persists. If the experts, the Van Gogh Foundation, and Mr. Goto from Yasuda, could be persuaded to divulge what they know, the truth about the Yasuda picture could be found. Using secrecy to protect their reputations and huge investments just won't do. Christie's has both money and reputation at stake, and has opted for silence. They refused to be interviewed, and issued a statement saying, "We see no reason, on the evidence so far produced, to alter our original opinion that the sunflowers is an authentic work by Van Gogh."

[Tom Hoving, Ex-Director Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC] You don't ever get a concert of opinion in art. Very seldomly you get it. And so this, I think, will just kind of go on forever. And since it's not going to ever be for resale, does it matter?

[Dr. Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov, Prof. History of Art, University of Toronto] Most of us who know Van Gogh -- and I think a lot of us do, or profess to know a lot about Van Gogh -- know that this very simple man, filled with great humility and compassion for mankind, saw these works as different legacies than financial ones. I think he would be horrified, and distraught beyond anything you can imagine, to see himself somersaulted to such tremendous value, and such crass commercialism. I think it would have been something that he couldn't have ever tolerated.

-- Is Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' A Fake?: The Fake Van Gogh's, narrated by Geraldine Norman, World History Documentaries

At one point, the Gillierons created the "Saffron Gatherer" fresco from a few fragments. Further finds prove, however, that the figure depicted here was, in fact, a monkey.

Jerome Eisenberg has no doubt at all about it. The Phaistos Disc is a fake, and Luigi Pernier is a con man.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] He was in need of funds for excavation. Also, he wanted the glory of having discovered a famous piece. So it was for glory and for cash. Arthur Evans also complained that he always needed funds, and that his discoveries on Knossos aided him to have rich people contribute money.

Hitherto in his search for Kapilavastu Anton Fuhrer had only had the clues contained in the Buddha Kanakamuni inscription on the Asokan pillar at Nigliva Sagar and the contradictory accounts of the location of Kapilavastu in relation to the Kanakamuni relic stupa provided by the Chinese pilgrims. Dr. Waddell had, of course, very obligingly published his belief that Kapilavastu was to be found seven miles to the north-west of Nigliva but Dr. Fuhrer had no wish to be seen to have acted on his rival's lead. Now, however, with the unambiguous identification of Lumbini Garden he now had two further sets of directions from the Chinese pilgrims to go on. Indeed, he would afterwards claim that 'the discovery of the Asoka Edict pillar in the Lumbini Grove enabled me to fix also, with absolute certainty, the site of Kapilavastu and of the sanctuaries in its neighbourhood. Thanks to the exact notes left by the two Chinese travellers I discovered its extensive ruins about eighteen miles north-west of the Lumbini pillar, and about six miles northwest of the Nigali [Nigliva] Sagar.'

But, of course, the Chinese did not leave exact notes, only conflicting ones. The reader will recall (see p. 92) that to get from Kapilavastu to Lumbini, Faxian had walked east: 'Fifty le east from the city was a garden, named Lumbini'. By Cunningham's method that would place Kapilavastu about eight miles west of Lumbini. Xuanzang (see p. 102) had reached Lumbini indirectly by way of the sacred spring south-east of Kapilavastu known as the Arrow Well, first walking south-east for 30 li and then north-east for 'about 80 or 90 li.' These directions placed Kapilavastu approximately fourteen miles west-south-west of Lumbini. Dr. Fuhrer's subsequent actions show that when faced by four sets of contradictory directions from the Chinese travellers he plumped for Dr. Waddell's advice, which was to look for Kapilavastu 'about seven miles to the north-west of the Nepalese village of Nigliva.'

Before being summoned to Padariya by General Khadga, Dr Fuhrer had planned to excavate at and around the site of the Buddha Kanakamuni pillars using the General's Nepali sappers. Indeed, he afterwards reported that he had done so, excavating down to the base of the pillar carrying the Asokan Kanakamuni inscription, which 'was found to measure 10 feet 6 inches in depth and its base 8 feet 2 inches in circumference; and 'still fixed in situ, resting on a square masonry foundation 7 feet by 7 feet by 1 foot.' But Fuhrer had come to Nigliva Sagar expecting to add real bricks to his so far imagined Kapilavastu and the equally imaginary Kanakamuni stupa -- instead of which he had been summoned to Padariya to witness General Khadga's momentous discovery of the Lumbini inscription. All might have been well if Anton Fuhrer had been allowed to return to Nigliva Sagar to do his excavating. But then the General dropped what amounted to a bombshell by announcing that he 'did not think any other operations feasible on account of the severe famine.'

There had indeed been very severe famine throughout the tarai country that summer and autumn, when the initial failure of the summer monsoon had been followed by the failure of the lesser October rains known as the hatiya. General Khadga was directing relief operations in the Western Tarai, for which he needed all the manpower he could get. It meant that he was removing the sappers that Dr. Fuhrer needed to make his case.

This was an awful blow to Dr. Fuhrer -- and not just because of his extravagant claims about Kapilavastu and the Kanakamuni stupa. The fact was that the very existence of the Archaeological Department of the Government of the NWP&O -- and, with it, his own post as Archaeological Surveyor -- was under threat, with rumours of severe cuts in the funding of the PWD circulating. Furthermore, after ten years of loyal service he was still on the same salary at which he had started: 400 rupees a month or about £400 per annum. A striking example of the value of his department and of his own worth was required -- which he duly provided.

On or about 20 December Fuhrer emerged from the Nepal Tarai to despatch a telegram to the Pioneer newspaper in Allahabad announcing a double discovery: he, Dr. Anton Alois Fuhrer, had found Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, and he had found Kapilavastu, too, the city where Prince Siddhartha had been raised. The Pioneer ran its exclusive on 23 December 1896 and other newspapers quickly picked up the story, which was reported in the London Times on 28 December.

Five weeks later Professor Buhler gave his public support to Fuhrer's claims in a letter entitled 'The Discovery of Buddha's Birthplace' published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 'Dr. Fuhrer's discoveries are the most important which have been made for many years,' he declared. 'They will be hailed with enthusiasm by the Buddhists of India, Ceylon and the Far East. ... The [Lumbini] edict leaves no doubt that Dr. Fuhrer has accomplished all the telegram [first published in the Pioneer] claimed for him. He has found the Lumbini garden, the spot where the founder of Buddhism was born.'

-- The Buddha and Dr. Fuhrer: An Archaeological Scandal, by Charles Allen

[Narrator] Arthur Evans was able to make his dream come true. For four decades, his very personal vision of the palace of King Minos, grew on Crete. He was working also for the fame of the British Empire. And by the end of his life, he was able to call himself Sir Arthur Evans. Even if critics dismiss Knossos as Disneyland, each year millions of visitors stroll around the structures made of plaster and concrete.

Today, however, some archaeologists advocate to dismantle Evans' Knossos.

[Alexandre Farnoux, Director, The French Archaeological Institute in Athens] Today, the Palace of Knossos is the way it is. And that's the way people imagine the Minoan world in the year 1900. The reputation of the Gillierons deserves to be restored, because our way of judging the history of art from a modern perspective, as if in a courtroom, and condemning it, is unfair. When it comes to any sort of scientific work, you always have to take into account the time of its creation.

German philosopher Karl Jaspers described science as methodical insight that is mandatorily certain and universal. It is the ethos of modern science to want to reliably know on the basis of unbiased research and critique....

Misconduct and fraud in science do not only offend against its inherent norms and rules summed up in the ‘scientific ethos’ but also make a mockery of its goals—namely gaining knowledge as profound as possible, which again motivates further research and can be practically applied. Scientists depend on cooperation with each other as well as on productive, constructive and trusting relationships with possible investors, users of scientific results—especially patients—and the general public. Trust and honesty is vital for any kind of successful research. Violations of good scientific practice do not only affect those directly concerned but also science and society in general, and, if permitted, we run the risk of undermining the public’s trust in scientific practice as a whole.

Despite numerous cases of research misconduct being made public, this issue is still a taboo topic among the scientific community....

It would be too narrow-minded to question only the individual integrity of the scientist. Very often, if we look into these seemingly isolated cases of research misconduct further, structures can be identified in scientific practice, which benefit such misconduct if not promote it....

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) proves that retractions of already published articles have become more frequent in the past 30 years. Between 1977 and 2011, 2047 articles were retracted in the fields of biomedicine and life sciences, with research misconduct being the most frequent reason for retraction. Twenty-one percent of the cases claimed unintentional errors as a reason for retraction, whereas 43% of the articles were retracted owing to ‘fraud’ or ‘suspected fraud’, which has increased 10-fold since 1975....

The average period between publication and retraction of articles was 33 months in all cases; it was highest in cases of ‘fraud’, reaching 47 months....Before retraction, many articles are frequently cited. Concerning articles published in highly prestigious journals (such as the Lancet, Nature Medicine, Cell, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine) and later retracted, between 234 and 758 quotations were counted for the period between 2002 and 2010. Thus, it can be assumed that the misconduct of the respective researchers has caused considerable harm to the scientific community....

Possible mistakes have to be differentiated from misconduct with intent and fraud. Characteristics of fraud range from plagiarism to the violation or assumption of the intellectual property of other authors and data forgery. What is considered as fraud is data misuse, the manipulation of results and their presentation, the independent invention of data, the concealment of undesired results, the disposal of original data, submission of false data, disturbance of the research of other scientists and deception. Fraud also encompasses active participation in misconduct of other researchers, joint knowledge of the forgeries of other authors, coauthorship of forged publications and the gross neglect of responsibility.

In 1998 the DFG published a memorandum on safeguarding good scientific practice. Good scientific practice implies to work ‘lege artis’, to always entertain doubt and self-criticism, to mutually check and examine results, to be accurate when securing quality, to be honest and to document and store primary data to ensure reproducibility. In research institutes and research groups, transparency of the organisational structure, unambiguous responsibilities, information, on-going training and supervision of staff and colleagues are part and prerequisite of good scientific practice. This also includes regulations for storing data, for the allocation of authorship, accountability and responsibility for observing the guidelines and regulations of dealing with possible misconduct....

Good scientific practice is first of all subject to the self-control of scientists within their community. Self-control seems to be reasonable, especially because, respectively, qualified scientists can themselves judge best, which results are plausible and which appear rather suspicious. However, the principle of self-control presumes that a scientific community is able and willing to control itself sufficiently. Especially in highly interconnected research—nationally and internationally—concerning complex questions and problems, trust is a crucial but fragile principle. In general, between cooperating scientists, research misconduct is considered impossible, and mistrust, a poor partner. Yet, the recently disclosed cases of research misconduct make it very obvious that self-control, if taken seriously, is a high demand placed on authors, which is very often limited by personal factors or by pressures linked to their university, institution and/or funding body....

The possible consequences of a violation against good scientific practice comprise labour law-related sanctions (e.g. warning, dismissal), academic sanctions (e.g. the revocation of an academic degree), sanctions according to civil law (e.g. compensation) and criminal sanctions (e.g. due to forgery). A revocation must be made and the subject matter must be set right. Violations against good scientific practice must be communicated to all cooperating partners, research communities, professional associations and to the public....

Considering the principles of science and the many cases of fraud recognised over recent years, the question of reasons for research misconduct is becoming increasingly topical. Misconduct does not simply result from poor character or the misjudgement of individual scientists. Although personal factors are certainly not irrelevant, the manner in which research institutions are organised must also be taken into consideration. No scientist can be a priori certain that he or she does not commit errors one way or another—even though unintentionally—or that he or she is not affected by the misconduct of others; however, prevention of research misconduct is becoming ever critical. The following arguments are addressed to explain possible reasons for research misconduct....

When wishing to make a personal career as a scientist and to increase the ‘success’ of one’s institution, one has to publish regularly, quickly and in high-ranking journals. Hence, scientific research is subject to high pressure, which is increased by financial incentives. If there is little success (i.e. only few publications or numerous publications but in lesser-ranked journals), it is unlikely that the career of the scientist will continue long term. One’s own research has to be successful in the sense of ‘publish or perish’ to guarantee a job and income in the future....

High competition for limited funds is generating more pressure on scientists to be the ‘best’, judged by the number of publications and the journals in which they are published....

Research not only fulfils one’s own ambitions as a scientist but also exterior demands for solving important questions for the future of our society. It also establishes and stabilises the so-called ‘research sites’.

The insights of science do not only have value within the field but also in a further reaching way for society and the economy. This is generally held true for countries like Germany, which is rather poor in natural resources but whose know-how is their most important resource in the globalised world....

The impetus for researching may go beyond interest in scientific knowledge; research also serves as a means of self-fulfilment, self-representation and not least the vanity of the agents. For the scientist, this development involves the danger of failing oneself and one’s own aspirations, since despite any highly specialised knowledge: Scientists are no better people.

Presently, we feel that communication between scientists is ‘disturbed’; self-control does not really work. High research activity and great dependency on external funding influence the culture of communication. This has had an effect on scientific journals over recent years, with an exponential increase in the number of publications, and also in the creation of new peer-reviewed journals.

Publication of articles is subject to the self-control of scientists. An article submitted for publication is usually assessed in the form of an anonymous review, normally by two independent scientists....The number of experts who are qualified for reviewing is limited, their time is limited, and in addition, regarding the present national and international research networks, their independence can no longer be guaranteed.

Despite there being a number of strategies and programmes for detecting plagiarism, their usage often exceeds the effort reasonable for those reviewing in an honorary capacity, which may result in a degree of unintentional incompleteness when reviewing....

A loss of a critical discussion culture harms the quality of research. Adverse factors conditioning misconduct can be observed at conferences and congresses....One can do nothing else but congratulate. Hardly ever are negative results or one’s own mistakes addressed. Our ‘togetherness’ finds itself in a rather care-free and positive atmosphere; arguments on a matter can seldom be found. What is thus not promoted is dealing critically with research results....

The appreciation of authors whose effective part in the respective article is limited or minor becomes a disadvantage if they become unaware accomplices, even in individual cases of research misconduct. Being accepted in the context of many experts promotes one’s reputation and career; however, this way of thinking might be damageable for the integrity of science. Networks can also obstruct the clarification of research misconduct: If one ‘falls’, many others will ‘fall’ too. Who would really want that?...

The very successful scientists of today (sometimes called ‘heroes of science’ or ‘giants in medicine’) generally have such a high number of publications that outsiders may feel ‘dizzy’.... Publishing more and more and better each time increases the danger of losing control over the content and of not fulfilling a researcher’s responsibility....

Taking part in many activities eventually makes us reach the limits of our possibilities. The genuine interests of a scientist must not be dominated by ‘always wanting’ and ‘always participating’.

Thus, it is not honest to ‘devote oneself’ to a research project, unless the project is an exact fit with one’s own interests and qualifications, just to get the money. A researcher’s capacity and productivity is limited and cannot be stretched infinitely by external funds. If the expectations are not fulfilled and the necessary honesty is missing, money can become a disadvantage for research....

[T]hose who already have a lot are persuasive and are therefore more likely to receive future funding and perhaps higher volumes. The result of this is thematically and methodically concentrated, and nowadays highly upgraded centres, or ‘research factories’, which show high productivity and growth rates and secure futures. These centres suppress smaller work groups that struggle to compete. The concentration of research in the name of ‘success’ creates power structures and endangers the breadth and quality of research.... high profit (i.e. high scientific output) means everything.

Consequently, a publication in a prestigious journal demands a further publication in an also prestigious journal and so on: Scientific growth is seemingly continued to infinity....

Failure is not provided for: Those who receive high funds are doomed to be successful (i.e. there has to be a result); however, this is obviously a case of positivism misunderstood. Research funding is beneficial, but at the present height, it also means a risk to research, because ‘more’ money does not automatically mean ‘more’ knowledge. This (at least felt, if not always admitted) discrepancy may affect scientists behaviour in a negative way....'

Discussing problems, our mistakes and causes in an open and self-critical way should serve to raise awareness and warn researchers of the potential dangers and consequences of misconduct. In cases of fraud or plagiarism, the agents are not just ‘black sheep’. Individual responsibility shall not be denied and must not be downplayed. However, we have to be aware that generally all researchers bear the risk of research misconduct, violations of good scientific practice are possible for each of us and each scientist is liable to the pressures that fuel such behaviour or, indeed, help disguise it.

Academic work requires transparency. Researchers should be subject to internal and external assessment that verifies their research and relates it to respective control mechanisms. It has to be discussed—not only within the research system, but in a wider context. On the one hand, freedom of research must be ensured, but on the other hand, research responsibility must be realised. Without doing away with self-control, it however becomes apparent that self-control alone is not sufficient and that concepts of external control must be developed and evaluated....

Scientific work also demands modesty; overestimating oneself and one’s own thematic coverage will backfire....

Even though external control may be effective, scientists should still be obliged to self-control. Acting as a researcher does not only serve the purpose of furthering knowledge and progressing personally, but relationships with others must also be considered. Rules of good scientific practice have to be accepted by all of us and embedded into attitudes and personalities....

The pressure to succeed imposed by highly financed research institutions and groups has to be reduced. The fundamental values of science must self-evidently and always have priority; they are honesty, decency, objectivity, credibility, doubt, responsibility and openness.

What increases the risk of research misconduct is working only for profit (i.e. the number of publications and the height of the IFs) and growth (i.e. more and more publications). Thus, research that is libertarian and at the same time only oriented towards the market contradicts the idea of science. Research institutes should overcome the temptation of only seeing themselves as players of the market.

The volume of research fraud that has become known begins to demand a quality offensive to be produced. It could imply proactive controls and random samples, the vocation of quality assurance commissioners, the central filing of data and documents, the obligation to take part in regular self-trainings or even workshops on ‘error learning culture’.

Researchers of today are voluntarily or involuntarily part of a media-marketed academic life. It is not only about the secrets of nature, discoveries and problems that have to be solved effectively; science ‘charms’. Results affect researchers (who gain an impetus for their work out of this) and academic journals (which ‘sell’ well if the stories are ‘good’), and also the ‘world’ (which wants to be helped and entertained by scientific knowledge). The scientist should know the inherent risk of this ‘charm’; the limitations of science itself and, of course, also the personal limits of the scientist are always present.

-- Fraud in science: a plea for a new culture in research, by M J Müller, B Landsberg & J Ried

[Narrator] The fact that the finds of Heinrich Schliemann and Arthur Evans met with such resonance, is partly due to the work of the Gillierons. They too have had a crucial influence on our image of Europe's first high culture. The idea that King Minos's Crete was a paradise on Earth, and his subjects were peaceful art lovers.


[Narrator] Like his father, Emile Gillieron Jr., was never accused of any art forgery. He started a business in Athens. This family company produced successful copies of antique objects right up to modern times.

In Phaistos, Gareth Owens has almost achieved his goal, after decades of working on the mysterious disc. As far as he is concerned, the disc is one of the most important examples of ancient scripts.

[Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linguist] We like to think that we are offering a reading that is more secure than has been offered in the past. And we hope people will take advantage of that to move on to the next stage, which is trying to understand.

[Narrator] Jerome Eisenberg refuses to be distracted by Gareth Owen's success.

[Dr. Jerome Eisenberg, Art dealer] I still believe that it is 100% a forgery. No question in my mind.

[Narrator] The suspicions attached over the decades about the authenticity of his disc, didn't appear to damage Pernier's career as an archaeologist. For 30 years, he performed research in Phaistos, ignoring all the doubts and all the doubters.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Mon Nov 21, 2022 1:35 am

The Truth About The World's Most Elaborate Archaeological Fraud
Absolute History
May 29, 2022

During the late 1800s, a multitude of strange artifacts were unearthed in Michigan. Written in ancient scripts from around the world, they told of a Near Eastern culture living in North America before the arrival of Columbus. The Michigan Relics are considered to be one of the most elaborate and extensive pseudoarchaeological hoaxes ever perpetrated in American history.


in a public museum in the center of the united states there exists a collection of
archaeological relics so unexpected that they challenge the imagination
[Music] these artifacts tell of an ancient people that existed in north america
before columbus the language symbols on the artifacts come from the mediterranean
egyptian hieroglyphics greek letters and cuneiform writing
the artifacts were all discovered in the state of michigan at the center of the great lakes region
thousands of artifacts discovered in 17 counties over a span of more than 25
years artifacts that have survived under a cloud of uncertainty
are they the artifacts of a hoax or are they the artifacts of history either way they've come to be known as
the michigan relics when they were first discovered interest
in the michigan relics was intense but they would fall into obscurity becoming all but forgotten to be
rediscovered re-examined and put on display a hundred years after their first appearance
they have been labeled as frauds by scientists and investigators several times since their discovery
yet these artifacts continue to inspire independent researchers who are certain
that the artifacts contain important historical facts facts that have profound religious and
cultural implications [Music] the artifacts are kept here in the
michigan historical museum when they arrived at the museum in 2003
john halsey was the michigan state archaeologist the task fell to dr halsey to protect
and preserve these artifacts that are part of the largest archaeological controversy in american history
the michigan relics were a series of objects that were found in various parts
of north central and southeastern michigan starting in 1890 and running up to about
1920 the first ones that we're aware of were discovered by a man named james scotford
who discovered a clay cup while digging fence posts up near wyman and montcalm county scotford went about the community
showing these things off and getting the people really excited about these artifacts that were that he had
discovered out there so a number of people in the local community went out with scotford dug into small
mound-like rises probably not really true burial mounds but they started finding things finding
copper things finding slate objects and so this led some of the city fathers to
say hey there may be some money to be made in this and under the tutelage of scotford they
went out and did a whole lot more digging and found a whole lot more stuff their goal in doing this was to sell
these things to the smithsonian institution but before they did this somebody said
maybe we ought to have somebody who knows something about artifacts look at these and they got a professor from lake
forest college in illinois to come up and look at them and he looked at them but not for very long
before said these are these are fakes and they're not just fakes they're bad fakes
guys you got really nothing here and they dissolved the archaeological trust and and it probably should have died
right right then it was not the end of the story however as scotford would continue to show up
with artifacts for the next 30 years he eventually moved to detroit
and suddenly he started finding artifacts in the detroit area but now the artifacts
that we're finding had begun to turn more to slate and copper by 1906
scotford was listed in the detroit city directory as a painter of signs in that same directory was the listing
for a daniel e soper who listed his profession as investments soper would become a dominant player in
the story of the michigan relics soper was a flamboyant personality with a dubious past
sopra was a former michigan secretary of state who had been forced out of office
because of some questionable activities he had taken up the cause of the relics and eventually soper became the
promotional guy for it sort of a low-grade pt barnum he was he was really
promoting these things on many of the michigan artifacts were images of what looked like biblical
scenes indicating a judeo-christian people had at one time inhabited michigan and then
disappeared soper showed the artifacts to the highly regarded pastor of holy trinity church
in detroit the reverend james savage father savage he really believed these
things were legitimate antiquities and his stated position was i'd rather
collect these things and have them seen eventually as a fraud
than lose something that was really legitimate father savage wondered if the artifacts
were connected to the lost tribes of israel seeing the biblical images and the mysterious writings father savage became
committed to preserving the artifacts that promised an astounding historical tale he would purchase all the artifacts
that came to him james scottford and daniel soper were the source of those artifacts
these artifacts depicting biblical scenes also drew the attention of members of the church of latter-day
saints well mormons have this belief that in addition to the bible that there are
other scriptures and the other scriptures known as the book of mormon basically talks about a
group of people that left jerusalem and ended up in the new world somewhere and so
whenever some archaeological find comes along that talks about large civilizations with roads and buildings
and cities in the new world they get excited about it the michigan relics have three main
groupings some are made of clay some are made of slate carved slate and
some are made from copper for the mormons to find copper plates with
inscriptions was reminiscent of the original text of the book of mormon
which was not on copper plates but on gold plates so when mormons heard about plates with
inscriptions oh they were quite excited because here's verification of what they had been
thinking about and talking about ever since the 1830s while the discovery of the relics would
generate excitement they also produced frustration the artifacts promised the great potential of filling in some biblical
mysteries and yet no one could read the artifacts what made the michigan relics
distinctive was first of all almost all of them had a very distinctive mark a
series of actually scratches which eventually became known as the mystic symbol
we don't know what it was supposed to be if you look at it quickly it has something like the ihs the christian ihs
what distinguishes them moreover is the size of some of the objects and
particularly the slate objects they're large they're heavy and they in many
cases also have what has been called writing lots of symbols but it is not in any of
the known indo-european languages interpreting the languages on the tablets would prove to be the most
enigmatic aspect of the michigan relics one interested mormon of the day was the
bishop rudolf etzenhauser he was a member of a break off group from the
mormon church and he was a bishop etzenhauser was very enthusiastic about
the discovery of the relics in michigan he even joined soper on a dig
etzenhouser commissioned a pamphlet of photographs of artifacts hoping the writing on the relics would come to the
attention of someone who could interpret them the pamphlet contained good quality photos and some information about the
dates and site locations for the discovery of the artifacts there is also a portrait of a studious
daniel soper examining an artifact edson hauser's credit to soper would prove ironic to daniel e soper belongs the
credit of having been for several years the moving spirit in the investigation of these prehistoric relics of michigan
how did they go about finding these things well they would sometimes come into a new town and they
would contact the local sheriff chief of police maybe a local minister postmaster and would say
we've got these very interesting prehistoric relics and we think we're going to find some more in your area
based on our our long experience with finding these would you be interested in going out
with us you seem like an educated man [Music] like to see what you think
so they get together a team of respectable people and they would go to the appointed spot uh they'd say okay
well let's dig and scotford would say okay well gentlemen you you go rest in the shade for a minute and i'll i'll
start digging and so he would dig and then he'd go thump thumb oh come here i think i found something
he would say to them here you excavate and then they would uncover
these artifacts and of course he believed that this thing was real uh he he'd found it he had he'd lift it out of
the ground with his own hands there was no way that it could have could be a fake and then uh
soper and scotford would say well you know we're really having a lot of trouble with the archaeologists they say
these things are fake uh would you mind signing an affidavit to the effect that
you found this thing and that in your opinion it's it's not a fake and he said sure be glad to so in that way the
legitimate authority of the postmaster the minister whoever it was would be
transferred to the bogus artifact and this was their standard mo for most of the time they were involved with the
creation of these things while gaining local and national notoriety soper and scotford also drew
the attention of a newspaper reporter in detroit william a benscoder ben skoder suspected that soper and
scottford were not what they claimed to be and he took it upon himself to investigate what they were up to
ben scott's reporting revealed that scotford had enlisted the help of his sons percy and charles scottford as well
as his son-in-law william scobee and the production of the artifacts the sons bragged about their father and
their work to marry granny robson who lived in the same boarding house as the brothers
granny robeson told ben scott that she occupied a room next to the brothers and that hammering went on day and night and
what the scottford brothers told her was detroit's ancient relic factory
ben skoder got himself very much involved in researching this and and talked to all of these people would
confront them on the street in their homes at night one particularly memorable instance was when ben skoder
confronted scobee at home one night and scoby threatened him uh when when ben
skoter was asking too many pointed questions is if we if we weren't in the city i'd punch
you in the in the nose and then and this is not a direct quote
and what are you doing interfering with private enterprise anyway
that's as close as we ever come to one of the principal uh
participants in this admitting that this thing is is actually an industrial
exercise later on scotford's daughter in a formal
deposition states that she saw her father make these things
and that there were other people involved with it but that she wanted it kept secret until after her mother had
died so her mother lived on for many years the availability or the existence
of this deposition wasn't known until well into the 20th century
at the turn of the 20th century the science of archaeology was still in its infancy but there were several
professors of science that were angered by what they saw as a blatant perpetration of fraud being foisted upon
the american public together these distinguished academics formed a committee to expose the
michigan relics in 1911 they published their findings in a scholarly journal of the day the
american antiquarian thoroughly denouncing the validity of the relics in addition on july 28 1911 in a
front-page detroit news article professor frederick starr dean of the department of anthropology and american
archaeology at the university of chicago very publicly declared their prehistoric
relics were fakes soper was undeterred by the academics
and with the help of scotford he continued to discover relics until 1920. in all it is claimed that from 1890 to
1920 as many as 3 000 to 9 000 relics were found in 17 counties in michigan
soper retired to chattanooga tennessee where he began referring to himself as colonel soper and continued his
celebrity with appearances at social events where he regaled prominent individuals with reports on the ancient
artifacts he had discovered in michigan soper died in 1922 leaving a large
collection of artifacts father savage died in 1927 also leaving a large
collection of the michigan relics father savage's collection ended up in storage at notre dame university in
south bend indiana where they would sit for 30 years mostly forgotten
[Music] it was in the late 1950s when the artifacts and storage at notre dame came
to the attention of a mormon church leader in salt lake city milton hunter
hunter asked to examine some of the artifacts and the university obliged his request eventually sending him the
entire collection hunter also purchased what remained of soper's collection
combined the artifacts came to be known as the soper savage collection hunter studied the artifacts until his
death in 1975 and willed the entire collection to brigham young university
where it was stored but unexamined for another 20 years
[Music] at the heart of the controversy about the michigan relics is the question how
did these artifacts get here and who made them at the turn of the 20th century it was
commonly held by archaeologists that the oceans had acted as barriers to isolate the americas from the rest of the world
and that the only cultures in north america before columbus were native american and yet these artifacts are
clearly not native american the idea of the oceans as barriers is known as the isolationist theory
counter to the isolationist theory is the idea that humans have traveled and spread their cultural influences in
every direction especially where there were waterways this is known as the diffusionist theory
diffusionists think the massive deposit of pure copper in the upper peninsula of michigan was a destination point for
ancient people from the mediterranean diffusionists to maintain that 2000
years ago access to northern michigan by ancient mariners would have been possible because water levels were
higher and there were several different water routes to the great lakes region
artifacts discovered in north america that are not of native american origin are held up as strong evidence for the
diffusionist point of view discovery of artifacts that could not be explained by the isolationist view have
often been labeled as frauds by professional archaeologists or just left ignored and unexplained
during the 1950s while the soper and savage collections were in storage henriette mertz a researcher who
subscribed to the diffusionist theory began working with a different collection of michigan relics
mertz would research the michigan artifacts for over 25 years her conclusions
the relics were artifacts of an early christian sect probably cops that they used greek as their main
language and were in michigan around the 3rd and 4th century common era
mertz authored what would become for some the definitive book on the subject her book the mystic symbol would renew
interest in the michigan relics ancient american magazine is a forum for
diffusionist ideas wayne may is the publisher of the magazine and he points to his own
collection of north american artifacts as evidence that supports the diffusionist model
wayne thinks that among the frauds of the soper savage collection there are some authentic artifacts artifacts that
shed light on north america's pre-columbian history the material that comes to us ancient
american i mean we're very very open not just scientific information but
you know we listen to the oral history of the native americans that's very key and we also look at the artifacts that
are found and even though they're outside the paradigm we just have to say oh my gosh you know here it is and for
example native americans do not use oil lamps
but yet this comes out of west virginia i bought this out of a private collection and an auction
and the fellow that had this auction i mean that had this artifact he's well known all his artifacts are all authenticated
yet within that pile of typically native american recognized and accepted
material you'll find this an oil lamp made out of clay
now i could take this this little lamp here and go to a museum in the mediterranean
you know rome greece uh egypt and put this in the museum and
no big deal wouldn't mean a thing because they've got thousands of them but yet here we have one from north
america so it's like well how to get here the indians will tell you we again you know we didn't use
stuff like this we didn't make it but yet here it is and this is just one example there's a lot of things like
this that pop up you know i i'm not an archaeologist i'm not a geologist i'm not an epigrapher i'm a publisher
and i'm just showing the american people what's really out here in the history of north america and we've got a lot of
unanswered questions and stuff like this shows up all the time since their discovery experts have
quickly dismissed the artifacts because the symbols appeared to be a mishmash of ancient languages that were randomly
placed on the tablets and yet some researchers continue to ask what language is on the artifacts and
what is the message there's a guy by mcglade bergen who did his uh
did his thesis of all things on the uh language is the michigan tablet
this is the michigan tablet these are the actual characters now we keep hearing how they're they're goofy
characters they make no sense uh you know they're this and they're that but yet we find the very same characters
right here in central and south america we find them on the kinderhook plate in illinois so the hulksters that did this
they came over to southern illinois and and did this one too and this is egyptian characters again
another match here's a semitic there's biblos and then here's a crete
and uh mediterranean cyprus for the guy who would hoax this material he would have had to have knowledge of all these
ancient languages to hoax the material so that's my point it is so big it is so grand
that something out there has to be genuine and i think we need to look really
carefully because this could be the largest biggest archeological tragedy in
north america because of the quantity of material that has come out of michigan
glade bergen's doctoral thesis from 1972 is interesting because it demonstrates a
high statistical correlation between the symbols used on several different artifact sources
his was an effort to unlock the languages on the artifacts but no one to date has been able to use
his work as a rosetta stone for the michigan relics
what's neat about henriette she uh during world war ii she worked for um i would just say it
cryptography she was a well she understood languages she looked for fake things and real things and tried to
decipher and and break codes and all that kind of stuff she was a smart lady very well educated a friend of hers a
judge in chicago approached her before she began this project and introduced her
to all of this mystic symbol business and asked her if she would uh look into
it because he had several artifacts and he just wanted to know if it was real or if she thought it was bogus
and when she started out she was very skeptical when you read this book you'll
understand there's no doubt in henry it's mine that these things are absolutely authentic
i got permission to pursue the book which i did and i have republished it we
have not changed any of henriette's work at all but we've added an addendum in the back
of the uh not all but several of the articles that we have published in the ancient american magazine which helps
kind of bring things up to speed for our day one of the authors for the additional
material was an educational researcher david alan diehl diehl's work is probably the most
rigorous look at the language and symbolism on the michigan relics to date david diehl is an accomplished graphic
artist he is also a self-taught scholar of paleo hebrew his efforts to learn and master the
reading of early hebrew scriptures led him to many interesting research projects and resulted in the writing and
publishing of several books his writings put him deep in the diffusionist camp
working with the artifacts researched by henriette mertz david has produced three significant insights about the relics he
has deciphered a language identified the theology and established a date for their creation anybody can
clearly see that they're religious they're they're biblical in context and they are what some people have said yeah
they're scenes from the bible okay given that it'd be easy for anybody to
see the flood and see the rebus with four rows of ten squares that stands for forty and then you see the symbol for a
day oh circle oh forty days oh it rained 40 days so some of it is very easily
read and understood david diehl's work revealed a startling new interpretation of the mystic symbol
instead of being the ihs of christian significance it reads in hebrew as yhw
which is the hebrew spelling for the name of god yahweh this alphabet
right here was completely deciphered by me after after realizing that wherever i
encountered it they were using a hebrew phrase or word and they put it in paleo-hebrew but paleo-hebrew
disguised by the fact that it was done with a cuneiform nail any language can be written in uniform even chinese
when i saw the the designs of the letters to me it was very instantly clear that they were paleo-hebrew
inscribed with the cuneiform nail and made to look something like uniform
it's a total invention but it's yet based on the shapes of the letters that were already recognized as ancient
hebrew ancient hebrews over here there's the aleph the beth the gimel the dallas these are all
standard paleo-hebrew this comparison chart is very interesting because it allows someone who has no real expertise
in these alphabets to be able to look at them and compare and then look at the tablets and
work out the sound of the letter anyway you can do that even if you don't have a vocabulary and you get a hebrew
dictionary and look it up and see what the word means david diehl demonstrated the use of hebrew on a clay tablet that was used
for much of his research and here's where i got letter number one two three that's a y h w and here i've
got letter number four five and six now how do i do that well
the first letter i recognized was this one that looks kind of like a w it's got three strokes going up
that letter is a classic babylonian shin which is an s
sh this letter that's the kef
the other h the heart h and my designer's eye tells me that that's an m
done with cuneiform you know how you take an m up down up and down but yeah the m the s the sheen
and the keth which is broken but if you look at it very closely you'll see the relationship of these two strokes
this one is brought up just like this one right here there's a cath right there with a
left hand stroke pulled up and then in that case the word is msh
the theology of the cops was a central deity named yahoo
a good son of the right hand named yahoo saboth the good son
and an evil son of the left hand brother to the other one called sama el
salma el is a is the to them was the devil here's the theology basic theology
creator deity with two brother sons one good one bad
in 1895 a french translation of the pistus sofia
which is this coptic egyptian theological document
came into br came into print and not wide printing wide distribution but but
some distribution in france and in europe three years after scofford was accused
of creating the first uh of these artifacts so you have to you have to make your mind up yourself was scotford able to
convey this theology at a time when it was unknown in the world and it was not a standard christian theology how could
he have put that in there the answer to the question is clearly he could not i see a consistent theology
and letter forms that never existed before in anyone's world invented by these people and why would
they invent these new alphabets very clear reason why there was a thing
in the beginning of the fourth century called the aryan dispute and the aryan dispute was basically
bishop arius of of alexandria disagreed with emperor constantine's
approach on the trinity and the emperor wanted there to be a trinity
which he succeeded in achieving and bishop arius
was was the subject of the nicean council in turkey in 325
a.d when it was determined that the nature of the messiah was
the same as the father they were the same nature whereas bishop areas held that they were of different natures
different substance the son was a created being created by the father as an angel first totally
different than constantine's idea of a of a trinity ever-present co-equal
trinity godhead which is what he conceived so bishop arius and his followers were
in a lot of trouble in the eastern mediterranean southern mediterranean
around the beginning of the fourth century
to the middle uh the quarter first quarter of the fourth century but they were in sconstance in in egypt
and they were ripped out at the time of the aryan dispute another intriguing observation made by
david diehl came from the book of photographs published by rudolf etzenhauser containing this image of a
slate tablet found near roland township in michigan's isabella county when i saw the photograph in
etsonhauser's book i saw this eclipse i analyzed it i said it's a calendar i can see the date that the event occurred
because there was an uh event horizon there was a picture of a face with his nose pointing at the edge of the
circular calendar where it occurred it was at the end of the fifth month the fifth month is not may by the way
the fifth month is july if you use spring reckoning for the new year which is what the hebrews did
so this means it's the end of july so somewhere near the end of july this event occurred and you could see the
partially developed eclipse you could see the crescent moon shape there is a meteorite flying in front of it and then
there's another total eclipse next to it and there's three little figures looking at it so i went to my friend who had the
voyager program for max i asked him if he'd run the conjunctions for the period of 325 a.d
to 425 a.d i estimated 100 years period and i based it on the nicean council
when the events occurred that transpired that actually caused the cops to be forced to leave the mediterranean
or die etzenhouser happily put it was in roland township isabella county i was able to
give him the exact grid coordinates where the artifact was found within an eighth of a mile maybe or something uh
the reason it's important is in a solo a total solar eclipse it's not the whole world that turns dark
it's only about 20 mile strip 20 mile circle of
primary umbra shadow uh the penumbra goes out a long ways in
some cases hundreds and hundreds of miles but in this case the solid full blacked out eclipse only covers about 20
to 30 miles depending upon the position of the moon and so my friend popped up about 10 dates for solar eclipses during
that period of time only one of them went through michigan and one of them went directly over these coordinates of
roland township he called me back he says how does july 27th 352 a.d i said
bingo it's right on the mark and then there was the question of the meteor a meteor during a total eclipse would be
visible but it's a rare thing wouldn't have been very visible at this point but it would definitely been
visible at this point so i i don't think that that's a real problem i think what they're saying is while the
eclipse occurred meteors were going by particularly one apparently large one meteorite went back and found that on
the 27th of july precisely the date of the eclipse it's one of the two days of the maximum
intensity of the delta aquarid meteor shower which occurs every year on the 27th and 28th of july
that to me confirmed that my my estimation of the
meaning of this artifact was correct i'd predicted that it was going to be a solar eclipse
found roughly where the artifact was found somewhere near it and uh it turns out it
was precisely under the path of the center of the eclipse so i think that's a confirming piece of information that
some forger wouldn't have really bothered to go through the effort and trouble even if he knew it
to create all of this data this this beautiful detail i think that that just confirms to me that this
is real and these people were really there at that time and it puts him right there at the time
of that of the copts exile from the mediterranean so the detractors are going to have to deal
with this stuff somehow some way uh they can't just say nay
with the increased attention inspired by merch's book byu began getting requests to examine
the relics it also brought forth accusations of concealment of the relics by the church and the academic community
to address the controversy and to assess the collection the editor from the university's publication the byu studies
contacted dr richard stamps a michigan archaeologist i had heard references to the soper
savage collection didn't know much about it maybe had seen
a photograph of some of the tablets and when the editor of the byu studies came and said hey we're looking for an
archaeologist from michigan to analyze this collection we got this big collection hey young sure i'm
excited about this and i was excited because i was able to take in 20 years of experience of looking at michigan
artifacts to go and see how do these match up where do they fit how does it fit into the big picture i go in with
certain questions what are these artifacts what is their function where are they from where do they fit in
michigan's prehistory we have a pretty good record of artifacts lifestyles here
in the state of michigan there are the paleo-indians been here since the glaciers retreated then we have a shift
when the climate change the vegetation the animal life change the archaic period comes in there are
intensive hunters and gatherers so i was excited to take this new
collection of artifacts and kind of pass them through the filter dr stamps reviewed the entire collection
and published a report of his findings in the byu studies the title on my article is called tools
leave marks because i was looking at these pieces and i was starting to find
marks from tools that didn't quite exist
finding pieces of clay with an imprint on the back of the clay where the clay
had been put on a wooden table and the table was made of wood that had been cut with a saw and you could see the imprint
of the saw marks from the wooden table on the clay
or to find copper artifacts that had been filed with a file and you could see
the file markings or you could see the chisel marks where artifacts had been cut with a cold
chisel tools leave marks and so i was looking at the artifacts finding these kinds of
marks finding tools that were basically non-functional
you make a knife but if it doesn't have a sharp edge you know what is the purpose of it
or if you make a clay vessel but it won't hold water what's the function of it how did they
fit into the larger context of michigan prehistory
they did not fit there were no paralleling fines that had been
excavated in the last hundred years so they didn't match up and that's when i started to look a
little more critically and and try and find some of these things that didn't make sense well
things like the slate now these slate pieces are made of beautiful slate
they're cut and they're polished smooth they have right angles some of them have holes and drilled through them so i'm
saying well how did you polish the slate this smooth
this big how did you do that and we looked around i ended up going to
the slate museum on the vermont new york border taking samples
from the michigan relic collection and saying how do you make something this smooth
and the guy walks me over to the piece of machinery and says he put it through this machine he said
when you cut them you use this kind of a saw and he walks me over and shows me the saw and shows me the cut marks on the modern
pieces which match the cut marks on the michigan relics
and then i take some of the samples and i say to them where do you think this slate came from
and the one fellow says oh that came from the such and such mind he recognized the consistency the color
of the slate itself so then i say myself well now how is this stuff
getting from you know new york vermont to michigan uh i did some research and slate was a
very popular uh material raw material for making things like window sills
some door seals but also making things like sinks and one of the pieces that i'd seen in
the michigan relics had just boggled my mind i couldn't figure this thing out because flat across the top comes down
as a right angle and goes up at an angle and down at an angle it's a strange piece and it had certain holes drilled
in it and the holes became part of the decoration they were either starbursts or border
lines or something so here's this piece of slate and i'm looking at this saying you know what's
going on here and then i'm walking around the museum and what do i find but a sample of a sink in the old days they
used to make sinks out of slate and these were the two end boards were
the same shape as this michigan relic that had had this carving put on it
where did they get the slate from somebody was coming along construction site where they were putting in window
sills door sills sinks found the old stuff took it off to their
workshop and then changed it from a 19th century
construction material reject put a decoration on it and turned it
into a michigan relic i also looked at some things on copper artifacts and i went to a metallurgist
and i said look at this metal and tell me what you think about it and they did a couple of things like
measured it with their calipers and they came up with the average
thickness and something like 3 16 of an inch okay this was a standard you want to buy some raw copper you go down to
the store and it comes in this size this size in this size and there's one of the sizes that's
available when you're buying copper also we looked at some of the fine lines the
metal are just when he was looking at this he said boy whoever created this had a sharp tool
i said what do you mean he was able to measure the very very thin line
that was scribed on the copper tablet and he says you have to have a sharp
steel tool to do that and also at a molecular level we got the
meddler just to look at it they could see the conformity and they they said this has been smelted
so some people would say well come on stamps you know maybe the native americans were smelting copper and it's
a great thought it's a great idea show me some evidence
of a of a copper smelter of all the archaeological
sites in the state of michigan and nobody's found a smelter that dates to the time period you know this
prehistoric period so um the copper didn't line up the clay didn't line up the slate didn't line up
so i came to the conclusion that these were made by someone other than
early pre-contact folks i think
scofford was making them soper was helping bury them and getting
customers to come and dig them and father savage was the unfortunate fellow who was kind of duped into
believing that they were real and he amassed this large collection so what was what was the purpose i think
scotford was making money at it if the artifacts could speak for themselves what would they tell us would
they reveal an engineered lie or a hidden truth did scottford and soper discover genuine
historical artifacts preserving them until the writing could be read and their authenticity proven
or is anyone that looks for meaning in the artifacts just another victim of scotford and soper's hoax
how will we get to the truth does a technology exist today that did not exist at the turn of the 20th
century that could prove the authenticity of the michigan relics
thermoluminescence is basically a dating technique that can be used on some
ceramics it's a technique and it's one that we need to pursue in the future
the university of southern california long beach has a well-regarded archaeology program
and a thermal luminescence testing facility under the guidance of dr carl lippo the
clay tablet that david deal had deciphered was recorded with a 3d laser and a fragment of the tablet was
submitted for thermal luminescence testing the test report from dr lippo was thorough within a 10-year window of
possible error the report indicated that the tablet was manufactured in the late
1890s it would seem that with a luminescence test and with dr stamp's examination of
the artifacts that the story of the michigan relics would be closed but there are some lingering doubts that
keep the controversy alive the clay tablet examined by david diehl and henry at mertz was not a part of the
soper or savage collection and might be an individual example of fraud
pieces from the mertz deal collection were claimed to have come from an earlier discovery some say as early as
1870 or even 1850 well before scottford and yet there is no evidence for that
claim [Music] the merch steel collection can be traced back to a collection from a curiosity
museum in springport indiana run by professor edwin worth worth moved his museum from detroit to
springport in 1906. newspaper reports from 1900 indicate
that worth had recently put his curiosities on public display in downtown detroit at the wonderland
pavilion where did worth get his relics did he buy them from scotford they were both in
detroit at the same time again no records have been discovered to answer these questions
in the etson hauser pamphlet there are two intriguing documents this is the book by the way let me just hold this up
that was published by rudolph ettenhauser 1910 or 1911 concerning uh his take on the michigan
artifacts and it has many many pictures that we've already seen before but what it what it has that
nobody else has is this one of the claims that's been made is that scottford from 1890s and sober and
savage which they were all involved on the discovery of the michigan tablets however
prior to that we've got many players on the michigan scene pulling up artifacts as early as
1856. here we have two signed affidavits with the people's names they can all be
verified and all these people who signed here we have no mr soper no father
savage and no scottford brothers here at all so here we have two affidavits absolutely clean have nothing to do with
soper savage or the scotfords and these are different people and pictures of the artifacts that they found we do not know
today where these artifacts are and then just one more comment the monhegan stone
we talked about earlier at the mouth of the st lawrence river this doesn't show the whole stone it just shows what's inscribed on the stone
and this is what you would see if you go there today to see it and of course here we have the mystic symbol and other
cuneiform writings and markings down here is the mystic symbol with two messages going different messages going
across to the travelers coming in that way that's the monhegan stone this is what's carved on the monhegan stone at the
mouth of st lawrence and i believe these people these michigan folks this is
exactly the highway they came in on the rivers and the waterways in north america were their highways
in addition wayne may had this interesting story and if i may it's it's only three paragraphs can i read that to
you okay i want you this this is what it says yodeja article dear mr may
in the article christ in america volume 4 issue 26 wayne may wrote of a claim that the
ojibwe name for henriette merch's mystic symbol is yodhiva
mr may adds that the yod haiva is remarkably similar to the biblical
jehovah it's not only similar he goes on to say it's identical to 75 of the biblical
name the name that we angelicize as jehovah is actually the hebrew tetragrammaton
which can be stated in our alphabet as y h v h
but whose hebrew letters are called yodhaeva so mr may's informant in fact gave him
the hebrew names of the first three letters in the name of god presumably the additional syllable
spoken once a year is a final hey to complete the tetragrammaton
the yod haiva is a hebrew tetragrammaton those are cuneiform writing and
what's it doing in north america and then there is david diehl's work with a language
it appears that deal broke the code to reading the cuneiform writing does it reveal a real language or does
it reveal the genius behind the forgeries where could scotford or soper have gotten the language did they invent it
or did they copy it from a real artifact if you think that scotford had a style
sheet to make these objects i would say yes and no i say that by virtue of the fact that
when you look at these artifacts you see the care that was taken to create them as opposed to scotford's banging and
bashing with his chisel and his clippers on on standard
commercial grade copper plates eighth of an inch thick you know it's pretty clear that they're fraudulent
but not the ones that much care had been taken with scottsford polluted this massive artifacts but i think that there
was enough of the artifacts around in scott first time to hit for him to draw off the known ones at the time as a
style sheet did he make all of these artifacts overspread all over michigan over a many many year period
no and why are there no artifacts being found now well a lot
of people i know of that have collections are afraid to come forward with collections because they uh they think they'll be treated as fools
so many of them will probably never surface for that reason
i think the michigan tablets to me also are extremely important because of
the quantity now if you had maybe 50 maybe even a hundred i could say well
yeah that can be faked but uh 10 000 3 000
i have a hard time with that especially when we know and the professionals even admit that we have evidence they come
out of at least 17 counties i've got evidence for 27 counties throughout the state of michigan one or two may be fake
but are they all fake you say a thousand i mean how long does it take you to make a thousand come on
he was doing this for what twenty five years to make three thousand is the number
that i sticks in my mind but hey you can crank those out now hurry the clay pieces don't take that
long to make now to scribe the ones on copper that's going to take a little more time
again put it in a 25 year time frame and how many a month do you have to make it's not that many nobody ever fessed up
without having any of the perpetrators admit it there is this lingering doubt a lot of
people take that as evidence that it really wasn't a fraud so people expect that there's some kind of resolution and
and the lack of of a resolution leaves a doubt in their mind
some have said well yes there are fakes but there may be a
few that are real i i touched and held and looked at
every single piece that was in the salt lake museum
that came here and if there was a real one i sure
couldn't find it and then maybe there are some in this another little museum someplace
maybe henrietta mertz had something that i didn't see okay but all i can say is
every single piece that i looked at i couldn't find one that
was right that looked right it just it just wasn't there so
maybe it's there hey that's science the door is always open [Music]
the fact is that the sober savage and mert steele collections contain manufactured artifacts
enough artifacts to make the michigan relics possibly the largest archaeological fraud in north american
history and yet questions remain was there ever anything of ancient
historical value to be discovered in the michigan relics is there a possibility that an ancient
coptic group was actually in michigan but a group so small that they left only
a tiny trace of their presence and that the trace has been lost in the piles of fakes created by scotford and
soper or is the whole story best summed up by francis kelsey the michigan
archaeologist who wrote in nineteen eleven it may be presumed that men will be ready to believe what they wish to
believe and that no hoax will be too preposterous to be without a following
whatever aspect of the story you focus on it must be agreed that the tale of the michigan relics is filled with the works
of some very creative and industrious individuals perhaps what is most remarkable about
the story is the persistence of the desire for the artifacts to be real
the fact that the michigan relics still stir the imagination 100 years after being labeled as frauds
speaks to the power of the story they present the sheer numbers of items created and
the compelling story they invoke is by itself a testament to the genius and the
creativity behind their creation the story on the artifacts and the story about them
may be most valuable for an unintended reason they may remain as a timeless example of
the need for careful discernment when it comes to telling the difference between what could be the truth
and what is the truth [Music]
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Mon Nov 21, 2022 2:05 am

Forgery Experts Explain 5 Ways To Spot A Fake
Nov 20, 2018

Forensic scientist Thiago Piwowarczyk and art historian Jeffrey Taylor PhD examine a purported Jackson Pollock painting and use their expertise to determine if the painting is legitimate or a forgery.


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this is thiago pivavarcik and jeff
of new york art forensics and this is a
jackson pollock
or at least it looks like one but it's
actually a fake
here's how they figured it out today we
will perform all the steps necessary
to determine its authorship
jackson pollock was an american painter
painted from the early 20s to the 1950s
he's best known by the drift or court
that he did from 1947
to the time of his death in 1956.
pollock's grip paintings are considered
his best period
so uh good sized well-preserved
jackson pollock he can go for over 100
million dollars
there's a lot of claims of jackson
pollock drip paintings
and our laboratory was able to identify
over a hundred fakes so we can say that
we found more fakes and there are
authentic jackson pollocks over there
we received this painting by a client
chose to remain anonymous we're going to
call him sydney
first step when we receive a painting
we're trying to establish something
called the provenance
provenance is a chain of ownership and
custody of an artwork
from the contemporary ownership
all the way back to its manufacturing
where this painting came from what is
the story behind it
is there anything that shows the history
of this artwork
so this is one of the most fascinating
documents that i've ever seen
this is a document to explain why sydney
should have a jackson pollock
most bargeries there are not as much
of confidence with forgeries or
this is problematic in all these
different ways the facts has no number
dr armand hirschkovitz cannot be
there's no record of a tear gallery in
dover new jersey
then he says he acquired this painting
in 1955
after pollock died but he didn't die
until 1956.
so for all these reasons this is an
incredibly unreliable
and deceitful document
the next step will be we try to find a
for the artwork jackson polo paintings
are specifically hard to look for
matches because
the nature of the image most of the
sources are
imprinted material and the catalog
resonate which is
the comprehensive catalogue of works
for a given artist this painting has no
the next step is a close-up visual
so we're looking close to the painting
to try to find anachronistic materials
and techniques
something that would be uncharacteristic
from a given outer
or a given time it's a very very thin
yeah look at how many how many colors i
count that aren't in the drip layers
it's very hard to prove there's
is but it's easier to find
things that are out of place things that
should not be there
look at these underlying colors we got a
yellow a green
and neither of them appear in the drip
patterns that's done with a brush
yeah it's rather strange because when
pollock starts doing the port painting
he really doesn't
brush much anymore yep so there's no
signature here
a lot of the works going into the market
in very controversial ways
are not signed and we suspect that
someone is trying to
mitigate whatever legal repercussions
trying to
imply that unsigned work is not
forgery per se as i say it's a next
level to take the step to sign
now you see here tiago i got two holes
right here they're just that distance
and they're repetitive you have a series
smaller holes and that indicates that
this canvas was a certain point staple
and staple canvases will not be a thing
on 1956. there's something
did you see the dirt here yeah that's
not nasty
it's being aged through a series of
to look older it's like they spilled
something on this
through carelessness or not through
you can see by the marks on the back how
it was
dabbed with a tea bag and if you
come really close and smell it you can
tea still the surface is being
sprayed with nicotine to emulate
ages of exposure to smoking but
the canvas is actually really good state
of conservation
it hasn't really shredded the way a
canvas starts to unravel at its edges
over time there's like some punctual
damage that is here
yeah you should be like all over like
then the next step will be photography
so we want to see if there's any under
drawings or sketches under the paint
you never know sometimes the canvas was
do you see that that squared green there
oh yes
in this case instead of finding under
drawing actually we found
that this canvas was reused from
a prior picture that had
very regular geometric shape which is
very young characteristic from pollock
as well now we get out the uv
light if you're going to analyze the
aspects of the artwork we want to be
that we're looking at relevant parts of
so we examine it with ultraviolet light
to try to look at the original parts of
the painting
normally all the restorations would show
up but
none of the restorations show up any
just different as if
the thing was done all at the same time
see look
here this cut there is a big patch
on the back and this ripping is
held together by a patch and it's gluing
it together
you see there's two little canvas
are actually loose and the restoration
was made in a completely
substandard way and it doesn't seem to
fulfilling the purpose of a proper
the x-ray fluorescence spectrometer
that's the next step
this handy device that looks kind of
like a star trek phaser is
a really outstanding tool in the field
of art forensics i'm actually emitting
a small amount of x-rays onto the
surface of the painting
it's exciting the electrons in the
pigments there and that allows this to
what elements are present it shows that
we have
titanium on it which is natural from
titanium dioxide
white pigment it's a very common
material from the 1930s for a lot of our
titanium is the determining factor and
it has tripped up more forgers than any
other element
so if this were purporting to be a
painting by degas
and we found the titanium immediately we
would know no way
in this case however by the time pollock
is working titanium is a widely
available white
so to find it in pollock's work is not
surprising in fact it's well documented
that his works do contain titanium
titanium white was already available in
the 1950s
from that we move on to microscopy
so thiago is going to be taking tiny
non-destructive fragmentary samples
of different bits of paint
this process is mostly used for
organic materials with those we would
then be able to test both
the pigment and the binder we're looking
what is the kind of paint used
we try to take a few samples from each
color and then we use
the rama spectrometer we put in a
microscope slide
and we shine a laser over it and then
this laser bounces back
inside the machine in a slightly
different color from the original hollow
that can tell us an idea of what we're
looking at
and we found mostly acrylics
although the binder known as acrylics
exist at the time pollock was alive in
this one
the specific variant of acrylic did not
exist it only started being manufactured
in the 1960s
for more than 100 years scientists have
just been looking at tiny fragments
of paintings under microscopes and this
allows us to really make a visual
identification based in metals and
tiny fragments of mineralogy
so there are studies regarding jackson
pollock paintings that describe
the type of debris found in his
look at that either somebody dropped us
in a mud puddle or they
directly applied this stuff and there is
a specific type of
sedimentary rock and dust that he would
spread on his
work i think it's a piece of insulation
that's what i'm saying i don't you can't
even tell what that is but
on this case we analyzed the debris and
embedded on the painting and it seems to
the breeze from drywall which is
inconsistent with
other pollux works
conclusion a jackson polygon that
per se that is not much of a mystery so
it is our opinion
that this would not qualify as a jackson
pollock painting
as i say if the deal is too good
there's something wrong
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sat Nov 26, 2022 1:07 am

The Forgery
Music & Moving Image Production
May 18, 2021

A 50 minutes documentary on false art and greed in the art world.

Art is big business as one can see in the documentary The Forgery. This film on international art fraud is constructed as a detective story.

German detective Scholler is in pursuit of Dutch art forger Jansen. Scholler retains 1502 false art works while catching Jansen in France. A third party in The Forgery is art collector Hans. He bought the painting ‘Three Tulips’ in an auction house. Apparently by Cobra painter Corneille. There is doubt on the ‘Three Tulips’. Hans starts a search for the truth. At the end he finds Corneille in Paris. The famous painter makes him understand that this work is a forgery. :’I hope you haven’t spend too much money on this…’

Script & Director: Arjanne Laan
Produced: NFI and NPS TV
Producer: Roel Simons

Camera: Mauricio Rubinstein

Sound: Fokke van Saane

Editing: Jan Dop

Music: Patricio Wang


NPS-Dutch Television;

Finish TV YLE;

Pay TV -Italy


Nos SalesMip Com


Release: 2001

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