How fine forgeries fooled the art world 做工精湛仿造品愚弄艺术界

Sculpture

毕加索、达芬奇、安迪·沃霍尔、肖恩·格林哈尔希……肖恩是谁?肖恩·格林哈尔希可是艺术界的知名人物,不过艺术界宁愿忘记他才好,因为他伪造并销售仿真度极高的艺术品长达17年之久才被警方逮捕。

课文内容

词汇: Art 艺术

On 17 November 2007 a man was jailed for producing works of art. Why? Because the sculptures and artefacts Shaun Greenhalgh made were fakes: fakes that had conned museums and galleries out of over £500,000.

Shaun had left school with no qualifications, but tried his hand at a wide range of crafts – from watercolour painting to sculpture. The young Greenhalgh hoped to make it as an artist himself. His pieces were not admired, however, and he turned to forgery. He ended up creating a cottage industry in his garden shed, with the help of his family.

If the son had a talent for art, his father, George, had the gift of the gab and approached potential buyers. He came up with detailed stories about how he found artworks which had been lost for generations. In 2003, they sold a 50cm statue called the 'Amarna Princess' to Bolton Museum. George claimed his own grandfather had bought it at an auction in 1892 at an aristocrat's home, and had papers which appeared to back up his story.

After talking to art experts, the museum paid more than £400,000 for the statue. The successful scam made the forgers grow bolder. But when they approached the British Museum with some more fake artefacts, an expert spotted mistakes and tipped off the police.

After 18 months of investigations, the police knocked at the family's door. They were surprised by the Greenhalgh's humble home. Where were the riches of successful criminals? The police concluded that Shaun was motivated by "a resentment of the art market" and by a desire to deceive art experts, rather than by money.

But how did he manage to fool so many experts? Irvin Finkel from the British Museum says the family produced things that "in a way we were looking for already". So when experts saw them they wanted to embrace these apparently long-lost treasures.

词汇表

artefact    人工(艺术)制品
to con    欺骗,欺诈
to try your hand at   试试手,尝试亲自动手
craft   手工艺品,手艺
watercolour painting    水彩画
sculpture     雕刻,雕塑
forgery      伪造
cottage industry     家庭手工业,小作坊工业
the gift of the gab    能说会道
artwork     艺术品
auction      拍卖
aristocrat     贵族
back up     证实(说法)
scam  骗局
to tip off    给(某人)通风报信
riches   财富
resentment  不满,愤恨

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. True or false? Shaun Greenhalgh studied art at university before he became a professional painter.
2. Who was good at convincing people to buy the forgeries?
3. Why was the British Museum suspicious of their artwork?
4. What made the police think that Shaun Greenhalgh's main interest was not money?
5. What may have caused experts to be fooled by the Greenhalgh family?

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。从每个表格中选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. Vincent van Gogh produced nearly 150 __________ paintings during his life. He used vibrant colours.

sculpture      watercolour      auctions      riches

2. The lawyer presented evidence which backed __________ her statement.

on      at      over      up

3. Stephen can sell a fridge to an Eskimo. He has __________.

tried his hand at it    the gift of the gab      a cottage industry      tipped off 

4. You have to be careful with these Ancient Egyptian __________. They are worth a fortune.

riches      fakes      artefacts      qualifications

5. Some people say that living with __________ is like taking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.

con      resentment      appreciation      talent

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. True or false? Shaun Greenhalgh studied art at university before he became a professional painter.
False. Shaun Greenhalgh left school with no qualifications.

2. Who was good at convincing people to buy the forgeries?
Shaun Greenhalgh’s father, George, approached potential buyers and claimed that he had inherited the artworks.

3. Why was the British Museum suspicious of their artwork?
Because an art expert spotted a mistake on one item.

4. What made the police think that Shaun Greenhalgh
's main interest was not money?
When they came to arrest the Greenhalghs, the police noticed that their house was not big and impressive – it was humble.

5. What may have caused experts to be fooled by the Greenhalgh family?
Their willingness to believe that the pieces offered to them were the ones they were looking for.

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。从每个表格中选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. Vincent van Gogh produced nearly 150 watercolour paintings during his life. He used vibrant colours.

2.
 The lawyer presented evidence which backed up her statement.

3. Stephen can sell a fridge to an Eskimo. He has the gift of the gab.

4. 
You have to be careful with these Ancient Egyptian artefacts. They are worth a fortune.

5. Some people say that living with resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.