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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 10:46 GMT
Art con fake may go back on show
The Amarna Princess statue
The statue was thought to date back to 1350 BC
A worthless fake statue which a museum paid 440,000 for, believing it to be 3,300 years-old, may go back on display to the public.

Amarna Princess was made in a shed by Shaun Greenhalgh, 44, of Bolton, Greater Manchester, who has been jailed for conning museums and art houses.

Bolton Museum bought the piece after the British Museum authenticated it.

Bolton Council is now to discuss with police whether the figurine can go on display as a fake.

Greenhalgh was jailed for more than four years for what police said was "the most sustained and diverse" art forgery case ever.

His 84-year-old father George and 83-year-old mother Olive were given suspended sentences for their part in the con, which netted the family hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Sculptures and paintings were among the fakes, including a forged Paul Gauguin which was sold to The Art Institute of Chicago.

(left to right) Olive, George and Shaun Greenhalgh
Olive, George and Shaun Greenhalgh admitted fraud

After Greenhalgh Snr's sentencing at Bolton Crown Court, Judge William Morris said that the family must pay back more than 400,000 in compensation.

The money will be shared out between various claimants who were defrauded, including the Bolton Museum, Sotheby's and the Henry Moore Institute, but not all will get their money in full.

Judge Morris also ruled that some of the forgeries should not be destroyed.

Bolton Council said it planned to talk to police about what will happen with the statue.

Stephanie Crossley, assistant director for adult services, said: "We welcome the judge's decision and his arguments not to have the Amarna Princess destroyed as this gives us the option to discuss its future with the Metropolitan Police's Art and Antiquities Unit.

"Judge Morris noted that famous fakes and forgeries are objects of curiosity and that other major museums have had special exhibitions of such things in the past."

SEE ALSO
Art forgery pensioner spared jail
28 Jan 08 |  Manchester
Sentencing delay for art forger
11 Jan 08 |  Manchester
Statue forger jailed for art con
16 Nov 07 |  Manchester

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