Prince Charles was apparently the victim of a $134 million art hoax.
Known American forger Tony Tetro, who has been convicted of art fraud in the past, claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail that he forged not one, not two but three paintings with an insurance value of $134 million that were loaned to Dumfries House via James Stunt and subsequently displayed at the Prince of Wales’ Scottish estate.
Tetro told the Mail on Sunday that he forged a Monet titled Lily Pads 1882, which was reportedly authenticated by the Wildenstein Institute in Paris, a Picasso called Liberated Bathers and a Dali called Dying Christ.
“I was very proud of that,” he said of the fake Monet. “It was a good Monet.”
The convicted forger explained that three paintings were reportedly part of a 17-artwork collection loaned to Dumfries House by Stunt, who told the outlet that “none of these pictures have come back, they are all there. No Monet has come back to me because it is not real.”
“None of my stuff is fake,” he added, despite Tetro telling them that “there is no question it: James knew they were mine.” Dumfries House also claims to have returned the paintings, the Daily Mail reported.
Charles has run The Prince’s Foundation for architecture and art since 2007, and Dumfries House is part of the organization which is focused on education, community and support of the artistic community. In a statement released to People around the scandal, a spokesperson called the hoax “extremely regrettable.”
“Dumfries House accepts artwork on loan from time to time from individuals and organizations such as the Scottish National Gallery,” the statement read. “It is extremely regrettable that the authenticity of these particular few paintings, which are no longer on display, now appears to be in doubt.”
20 PHOTOSQueen Elizabeth and her son, Prince Charles, together through the yearsSee GalleryQueen Elizabeth and her son, Prince Charles, together through the yearsPrince Charles with his mother Queen Elizabeth II, in 1969. (Photo by ï¿½ Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)BURNLEY, UNITED KINGDOM -MAY 16: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales travel down the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on the ‘Pride of Sefton’ barge on day 1 of a visit to the North West of England as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Tour of the UK on May 16, 2012 in Burnley, England. 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