Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 12:35 UK

Frida Kahlo 'fakes' investigated

Exhibition-goer looking at a Frida Kahlo painting
Frida Kahlo, who died at the age of 47, was known for her bold style

A probe has been launched into claims that artworks featured in books about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo are fakes.

Mexican prosecutors are responding to a complaint by the artist's trust that 1,000 items in two books are forgeries.

But the publishers of Finding Frida Kahlo have rejected calls for the book to be withdrawn, saying it states that some items are not 100% authenticated.

Kahlo, who died in 1954, was known for her stark self portraits and was played by Salma Hayek in a 2002 biopic.

The Frida Kahlo Trust and a number of art historians said at a press conference in Mexico City that it would be damaging for the books to remain on sale.

"We must stop the commercialisation of false works," said Frida Kahlo Museum director Hilda Trujillo.

The second book in question is called The Labyrinth of Frida Kahlo: Death, Pain and Ambivalence.

"This will infect all the studies of Frida Kahlo with a virus and bad, inaccurate information," said US art expert Professor James Oles.

He added that the art featured in the books are of poor quality, while other items including handwritten notes contain spelling mistakes.

Professor Oles said the owners of the items claim they came from five boxes given by Kahlo to a carpenter.

Kahlo was given special status in Mexico in 1984, affording protection to her works of art under the country's law.

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