Two fraudsters have attempted to sell a fake painting, which they claimed to be 79 years old and coming from Iran, to an antiquity expert for 20 million Turkish Liras ($738,000).
Cemil Karabayram, the head of the International Strategy Development Research Association (USKAD) and a senior official from the Antalya Governor’s Office Cultural Assets Unit, received a phone call from two unidentified people who claimed they possess a historical painting.
Stating that their intention was to sell the work for 20 million liras, they sent a video showing the fake painting from various angles to prove its authenticity.
Recognizing the forgery, the expert in historical artifacts requested more information from the suspects.
They claimed the painting belonged to the 20th-century French artist Henri Matisse and came from Iran.
Determining the same painting was seized by the police when a criminal organization attempted to sell it in 2018, Karabayram reported the evidence, images, and message related to the incident to the police.
In an attempt to deceive Karabayram, the fraudsters also sent him a fake document, seemingly notarized and indicating the painting's dimensions and its storage in the home of Mılad Farahmand and Ebrahim Taghızadeh in Iran since 1943.
"They asked me if I could find buyers for the painting, trying to convince me with false claims, even suggesting the painting was in a bank vault. This is clearly art smuggling and fraud,” Karabayram stated.