Art forger’s collection fetches £50,000

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A COLLECTION of sketches and paintings by one of the world’s most prolific art forgers has fetched more than £50,000 at auction – a record price.

Eric Hebborn’s pieces, in the style of Renaissance greats such as Michelangelo, fooled galleries and art dealers around the world. The master forger’s work was hailed as authentic and stylistically brilliant by art historians and sold for tens of thousands of pounds at art auction houses.

Experts now believe that many “Old Masters” hanging in renowned collections – in galleries, museums and private homes – are in fact undetected Hebborn pieces. He was murdered in Rome in January 1996, a crime which remains unsolved.

A total of 234 pieces, in ink, crayon and watercolour, were sold by auctioneers at Webbs of Wilton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, for a total of about £51,000.