The Los Angeles Times reports on a complaint against an art dealer for selling a copy of a Picasso drawing to buyer for $2m.
Tatiana Khan, owner of the Chateau Allegre gallery on La Cienega Boulevard, claimed the artwork — called “La Femme Au Chapeau Bleu” (The Woman in the Blue Hat) — was owned by the Malcolm Forbes family estate and was a bargain at only $2 million, according to court documents.
According to the complaint, Khan allegedly told artist Maria Apelo Cruz that the real Picasso artwork had been stolen from one of Khan’s clients and that the dealer needed a copy to play a trick that would help catch the thief. Cruz, who had worked with Khan in the past, did not think much of the request, said the North Hollywood-based artist in an interview with The Times on Friday.
Khan gave Cruz a photograph of the artwork to copy and paid her $1,000, the complaint alleged. Soon after, Khan allegedly sold the drawing for $2 million to the art prospector. When Khan was contacted by the FBI in 2009, the complaint alleged, the gallery owner told Cruz not to divulge that she had created the fake Picasso. Khan also asked Cruz to change the invoice to say that Cruz had simply retouched a primitive painting, according to the complaint.
LA Art Dealer Accused of Selling a Phony Picasso (Los Angeles Times)