60 Minutes caters to the vanity of Wolfgang Beltracchi in their report on his massively successful forgery scheme.
Bob Simon: Do you think the experts are just incompetent or that they are also frauds, that they pretend to know more than they know?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: No, no nearly all the experts we have met, we met, they were serious, really serious. Their only problem was that I was too good for them. Yes, that was their problem, that’s all.
And with all the legal problems they now have, many experts are very hesitant to use their expertise. […]
Many foundations representing major artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Willem de Kooning are refusing to authenticate works brought to them at all. Francis O’Connor is the world’s top Jackson Pollock expert. He says he can spot a fake Pollock in a second, but these days is keeping his opinions to himself.
Bob Simon: What if I were to come to you and say “this has been presented to me as a Pollock”
Francis O’Connor: Someone comes to me about once a week. I just let it go by.
Bob Simon: Let it go by?
Francis O’Connor: In other words, ignore it.
Bob Simon: I’m not quite sure I understand. If I come to you and I say, “Hey, this has been presented to me as a Pollock” and you can see right away that it isn’t, you’re not going to tell me “this is not a Pollock”?
Francis O’Connor: I would be very hesitant to give any opinion at that point, because of the legal situation.
Bob Simon: Where do I go to see whether my painting is a real Pollock or not?
Francis O’Connor: There is nowhere to go.