Trailer for Arne Birkenstock‘s documentary Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery about Wolfgang Beltracchi’s work and how he managed to fool the art world.
Excerpts from the CBS interview with Bob Simon
Bob Simon: Could you do a Rembrandt?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah, sure.
Bob Simon: Could you do a Leonardo?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah, yeah, sure.
Bob Simon: Who couldn’t you do?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Maybe Bellini. Bellini’s really difficult.
He has sold his forgeries. Of course, but says he can still see some of them because they’re on public display.
Bob Simon: Have you seen your paintings, your forgeries hanging in museums?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah. Yeah, all the museums, you know. I think I am one of the most exhibited painters in museums of the world.
Bob Simon: You are one of the most exhibited painters in the world?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah, yeah.
Bob Simon: That’s quite an accomplishment
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah.
Bob Simon: You have, in fact, you’ve really upset the art world, haven’t you?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah sure, they all hate me, these experts now–
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.
Bob Simon: Did you ever think you would wind up in prison?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: No.
Bob Simon: At what point did you realize, uh-oh, I’m in trouble, this is over?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: When I was in prison.
Bob Simon: Not before then.
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Not really, no.
Bob Simon: Do you think you did anything wrong?
Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yes, I use the wrong titanium white, yeah.