French Police Uncover Huge Network of Fake African Art Dealers

They used urine to make new works look like antiques.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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One of the biggest networks of fake African art in France have been discovered by French police. After the six month investigation, twenty-two people have been arrested and seven are being held in custody. The suspects were able to convince people to buy counterfeit works by making fakes look vintage through some disgusting methods.

Suspects used cashewnut paste and, get this, urine to make brand-new wooden sculptures look like they were antiques. They were able to sell the fakes for 100,000 euros a piece--that's $130,000! Basically tourists and trusting art lovers bought pissed on wood for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The operation had been going on for more than a year. The police seized 500 fake art pieces like masks and statues. Legitimate local art dealers are being affected by the news, with people losing trust in all galleries in the area. The scam is thought to be the biggest ever found in France.


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