Most paintings in French art museum turn out to be forgeries

The Etienne Terrus Museum in France learned that 60 percent its collection was forged. Etienne Terrus worked a century ago and died in 1922; it's not clear how the local gallery dedicated to his memory came to such a bizarre end, only that the acquisitions were recent: "It's a catastrophe for the municipality," writes one expert.

Eric Forcada, the art historian who uncovered the counterfeits, said that he had seen straight away that most of the works were fake.

"On one painting, the ink signature was wiped away when I passed my white glove over it."

He alerted the region's cultural attache and requested a meeting of a panel experts to confirm his findings.

"At a stylistic level, it's crude. The cotton supports do not match the canvas used by Terrus. And there are some anachronisms," Forcada said.

In all, out of the 140 works that make up the collection, 82 were fake.

I guess that the suddenly-available pile of art by the late Victorian artist whose hometown museum was being renovated with an unlimited budget should probably have been examined by a pro first.