A woman who filed a complaint in July 2018 with the Nicosia Crime Prevention Office (CPO) that the Yiannis Gaitis woodworks she had bought are fake is now taking the case to court after the police investigation confirmed the forgery, Phileleftheros reported on Thursday.
The plaintiff, who is of prominent standing in Cypriot society, is accusing a gallery of selling her five forged artworks on two different occasions; the first sale took place in April 2006 when she bought three wooden Gaitis sculptures for the sum of 9,000 Cyprus pounds; on her second visit in January 2008 she purchased two more sculptures for the price of €8,000.
She had requested from the gallery to provide her with certificates of authenticity for the artworks which she never received, and when the gallery owners offered to provide her with their own certificate she rejected the offer. They then replaced another painting she bought which was also proven to be fake with another one after protracted talks between the parties.
To investigate the case, the police had to file a special claim with the French authorities requesting the expert opinion of the artist’s daughter Loretta Gaitis, who is also his only lawful representative for the authentication of his art. Gaiti stated that based on the list in her possession and taking into account her father’s personal style, the works bought by the claimant are fake. This was also confirmed by an independent expert engaged by the CPO to examine the works. According to the police, Gaiti also offered to travel to Cyprus to testify in the event the case is taken to court.
A file for the case has officially been opened with the Law Office of the Republic and one person has been charged with obtaining money under false pretences. The gallery directors reject the accusations and claim that the painting given to the claimant in exchange is of much greater value than the one originally purchased and they should therefore be released from any further obligations to her.