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Fake Old Master Sold for $10 Million Rocks Art Market

  • Sotheby’s reimbursed the buyer after analysis showed forgery
  • Buyers to be ‘very wary, extremely careful,’ art dealer says

Five years after Sotheby’s sold an Old Master painting for about $10 million, the auction house concluded the work was fake -- and reimbursed the buyer.

Sotheby’s earlier this year became aware of a possible authenticity issue with a 17th century Dutch painting attributed to Frans Hals and informed the purchaser, the auction house said in a statement Thursday. It then hired an outside firm to conduct a technical and forensic analysis of the work, which was peer reviewed. Those efforts showed the painting couldn’t have been created in that period because modern materials were used.