In Berlin recently, police confiscated hundreds of bronze statues alleged to be Alberto Giacometti’s and arrested an art dealer and others on allegations of selling the fakes around the world.
Cops, robbers — that’s always exciting. But even more exciting was the last line of the article (do journalist’s always save their best punch for last?).
Giacometti is depicted on Switzerland’s 100 franc note.
Some fun facts:
- In 1962, he was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, and the award brought with it worldwide fame. Even when he had achieved popularity and his work was in demand, he still reworked models, often destroying them or setting them aside to be returned to years later.
- As his last work he prepared the text for the book Paris sans fin, a sequence of 150 lithographs containing memories of all the places where he had lived.
- Giacometti died in 1966 in Chur, Switzerland. His body was returned to his birthplace in Borgonovo.
- JUICE ALERT! In May 2007 the executor of his widow’s estate, the French foreign minister, was convicted of illegally selling Giacometti’s works to a top auctioneer.
How much does Giacometti mean to the Swiss? Well, how much is a 100 bank note worth?