Italy's Modiglianis in major Genoa show 'all fake'

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The canvases in a major Modigliani exhibit in Genoa last year were fake, local media reported Tuesday.

Amedeo Modigliani [File photo]

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was an Italian modernist portrait painter known for his elongated figures. "His emotionally intense portraits and seductive nudes are now among the best-loved paintings of the 20th century", according to the Tate Modern museum in London.

The controversial show at the northwestern city's Palazzo Ducale museum opened March 16 and ran through July, 2017, when investigators seized 21 paintings and drawings after an art expert expressed doubts about their authenticity.

A court-appointed expert has concluded that all the seized works, with the exception of one drawing, are fakes, ANSA news agency cited "qualified sources" as saying.

A painting by Amedeo Modigliani [File photo]

The canvases had been "grossly both stroke and pigment", ANSA cited the expert's report as saying. Three people are under investigation, including exhibit curator Rudy Chiappini, ANSA reported.

"Palazzo Ducale has suffered significant material and image-related damages," the museum said in a statement at the time, acknowledging that it was shutting down the show three days early due to "an ongoing investigation" by Genoa public prosecutors.

A painting by Amedeo Modigliani [File photo]

The exhibition featured "canvases on loan from important museums" such as the Musee de l'Orangerie and Musee National Picasso in Paris, the Koninklijk Museum in Antwerp, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan and "prestigious European and American collections", according to the museum's website.

In its statement, the Genoa museum said Chiappini has "directed the Lugano Museum of Art for over 20 years" and called him "a recognized curator of international-level exhibitions".

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