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Exhibition
 

The coloured truth – Art crime in Finland

Police Museum, Tampere

  • 26.3.2021–16.12.2023

Forged artwork, criminal art trade, fraud, money laundering and embezzlement – there are many faces of art crime.

 

The exhibition at the Police Museum, entitled The coloured truth – Art crime in Finland, is about Finnish art crime, police investigations and cooperation between authorities, for example, with researchers of the Finnish National Gallery.

The exhibition includes counterfeit works by "Gallen-Kallela", "Schjerfbeck" and "Picasso". All of the works are now part of the National Police Museum's collections. Originally, they were confiscated in connection with a pre-trial investigation and handed over to the state as instruments of crime.

– Art crime is part of organised, professional and even international crime. There is nothing romantic about forging artwork. It is done thoughtlessly for greed and money, much like counterfeit sneakers or milk formula are made.

In Finland, art theft is rare, and the emphasis in art crime is on forged artwork and the related trade. Fraud and criminal trade by forged artworks began to rise in the 1980s. Often forged artists in Finland include Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Helene Schjerfbeck, Eero Jrnefelt, Nikolai Lehto and Reidar Srestniemi.

The production of counterfeit art is driven by the market: what sells is also forged. Forgeries are crimes against the original artists, defrauded injured parties and national cultural heritage. Each counterfeit work demeans and destroys cultural heritage. Forgeries distort the art market and also deprive existing artists of work and livelihood.

The total value of damage in Finland caused by art crime investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation through Operation FAKE since 2009 is almost EUR 20 million.

Among those deceived in art crimes, there are wealthy collectors as well as ordinary citizens who lost their savings when buying valuable art”. Art enthusiasts, professionals and art museums alike have been cheated. It is likely that some of the buyers have not contacted the police. This can be due to ignorance, shame or even the desire to pay it forward”.

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Museum contact details

Police Museum
Vaajakatu 2, 33720 Tampere

295 418 325

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Päämäärä:

Police Museum, Vaajakatu 2, 33720 Tampere


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Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 10:00-15:00
Wed 10:00-15:00
Thu 10:00-15:00
Fri 10:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-17:00
Sun Closed
 
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