A joint investigation by Thunder Bay police and the Ontario Provincial Police into the sale of alleged fake Norval Morrisseau paintings has resulted in more than 40 charges against eight people.
Police say they confiscated more than 1,000 alleged fraudulent paintings, prints and other artworks.
“Some of these paintings sold for tens of thousands of dollars to unsuspecting members of the public who had no reason to believe they weren’t genuine,” says a police press release.
Morrisseau died in 2007 but the police have been investigating since 2020 into the alleged production, distribution and sale of fake artwork falsely attributed to the late Morrisseau, police say.
Even before his death, allegations swirled about individuals creating and selling art under Morrisseau’s name.
It was all captured in the documentary “There are no fakes” that examined allegations of fraudulent Morrisseau paintings.
“As executive producer of the movie and being one of the leading artists in this style and spending over 18 years as an independent investigator exposing the multiple layers involved in this [alleged] fraud, I’m happy to hear about the conclusion of this investigation,” Mark Jacobson told APTN, who is a police witness in the case.
“There are still several waves of fakes circulating the Canadian art market. My hope moving forward is to continue shining the light into these dark arenas exposing these crimes and helping set the record straight once and for all.”