Ukrainian Art Scandal

An art scandal is unfolding over the theft and forgery of two works by Socialist Realist painter and part-time spy Mykola Hlushchenko. The works were lent to the Ukrainian government by the National Art Musuem.

Via Bloomberg News:

” The Kiev, Ukraine-based institute, which had lent the paintings to the government of former President Leonid Kuchma, urged authorities to open a criminal probe after it turned out the art works hanging on display were copies, it said in a statement on its website today. The disappearance was first made public by museum officials on March 29, prompting tests to verify the claim.

‘The results of chemical expertise showed that two paintings are copies of Hlushchenko,’ a Ukrainian Soviet-era artist, according to a statement by experts from the museum and the National Science and Restoration Center posted today on the Culture Ministry’s website. The copies were made after 2000, the experts said.


The full article at Bloomberg News includes fascinating details about Hlushchenko’s double life as a Soviet spy.

You can see some of Hlushchenko’s work here (in Russian) and here (click on the titles in the left column, and then the thumbnails to open.)