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Prolific art forger's paintings up for sale

He had the dubious reputation of being the world's most prolific art forger. Until his death, Eric Hebborn churned out works in the style of the old masters - Rubens, Van Dyck and even Michelangelo.

His paintings were so convincing he fooled experts in some of the top international galleries. But how did he do it?

Clues to the answer are revealed as some of his sketches go on auction tomorrow in Wiltshire. Here's Martin Dowse.

Paintings by prolific art forger up for sale

Some of the lots up for sale in Wilton Credit: ITV Meridian

A haul of sketches and paintings by one of the world's most prolific art forgers - whose work was often described as more beautiful than the original, has been put up for sale.

Eric Hebborn duped art dealers and galleries world-wide with his paintings in the style of Renaissaince greats such as Rubens , Van Dyck, Corot and Michelangelo.

His work was so convincing that dealers sold them on as genuine originals, and much of his undetected work still hangs in galleries and museums around the world.


  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Gold diggers descend on Folkestone beach

A German artist has sparked an extraordinary 'gold rush' on the Kent coast. Hundreds of people with buckets, spades and metal detectors have descended on the beach at Folkestone Harbour to search for buried bullion.

Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer has hidden 30 bars of pure gold under the sand as part of a public art festival. A few fortune-hunters have struck gold. But 20-plus of the ingots are still there for the taking.

David Johns explains, talking to treasure-seekers and the project organiser Claire Doherty.


Smuggled art goes under the hammer

'The Abduction of Helen of Troy', Credit: ITV Meridian

A painting smuggled out of Russia by its aristocratic owner during the Bolshevik Revolution is going under the hammer in Canterbury.

Its owner rolled up the canvas when they fled Crimea to Constantinople over ninety years ago. The man then passed it onto his grandson.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Man who lives with a puppet

A student at the University of Kent has attached himself to a life-size puppet skeleton for two weeks, wearing it everywhere he goes, day and night. Peter John-Morton says the work, called Ridley, "gives a dead object the chance to experience the phenomenon of life".

David Johns has his story, talking to puppet man Peter John-Morton, stage manager Lizzie Watkins, and Peter's girlfriend Lucy Western.

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