Prince Charles Hit by One of the Most Incredible Art Hoaxes in Royal History
Prince Charles has been dragged into a counterfeit art scandal after it was revealed that classic works of art displayed at his Dumfries House estate in Scotland were allegedly painted by an American forger.
The Ayrshire house — which dates back to 1635 — has been part of the future King’s architectural and artistic program, The Prince’s Foundation, since 2007. On Sunday, it was revealed to have been the location of one of the most incredible art hoaxes in royal history when American artist — and convicted counterfeiter — Tony Tetro told the Mail on Sunday that he forged a Monet, Picasso and Dali loaned to the house with an insurance value of $134 million.
Since the allegations appeared, the artworks have been removed from view.
“Dumfries House accepts artwork on loan from time to time from individuals and organizations such as the Scottish National Gallery,” a Prince’s Foundation spokesman told PEOPLE in a statement.
“It is extremely regrettable that the authenticity of these particular few paintings, which are no longer on display, now appears to be in doubt.”
Dumfries House accepted the artworks in good faith and played no role in verifying their authenticity. The Prince of Wales, an amateur painter himself, also has no role in selecting the artworks.
According to the Mail, the three paintings are part of a wider collection of 17 artworks loaned to Dumfries House by former bullion dealer James Stunt, who separated from Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone in a $7 billion divorce in October 2017.
The Monet is reported to be entitled Lily Pads 1882 and was authenticated by the prestigious Wildenstein Institute in Paris. The Picasso is called Liberated Bathers and shows two figures on a beach. The Dali is a surreal play on a traditional crucifixion scene called Dying Christ.
“None of these pictures have come back, they are all there,” Stunt told the Mail when questioned about the alleged forgeries. “No Monet has come back to me because it is not real.”
He added, “None of my stuff is fake.”
In contrast, Tetro told the outlet, “There is no question about it: James knew they were mine.”