Is 'stolen' Goya a fake? Cops ask artists, scientists

Feb 15, 2012, 08:07 IST | Shiva Devnath

The curious case of a 'stolen' painting has managed to bring together the far-flung worlds of arts and science.

After stumbling upon a painting that may (or may not) be Spanish painter Francisco de Goya's iconic 'Saturn Devouring his son', Oshiwara cops have now roped in experts to put their skills together and conclusively prove if the painting they recovered in a property dealer's house is an original. After artists failed to solve the mystery, scientists have now put their heads together.

MiD DAY had reported yesterday how cops searching the premises of Majid Sultan Khan's house for unlicensed weapons eight days ago recovered a painting that they suspect to be the Goya masterpiece. ('Have cops recovered a 'stolen' Goya masterpiece?' February 14)

Shades of a sham?
Cops at the Oshiwara police station had called in a number of prominent painters to determine the age of the painting, by examining the shades of paint and the age of the frame it was encased in.

The team of painters however failed to determine the year to which the painting belonged.

"We have now approached a team of scientists. They will take a sample of paint from the painting and conduct tests on it. They will then submit a report to us with their findings," said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (zone IX).

The police have also sent a formal intimation to the Spanish embassy, apprising them of the discovery of the painting.

"If we find out that the painting is a fake, we will charge Khan under sections of the Copyright Act, as he was selling it for Rs 20 crore, which is the cost of the original Goya," added Dighavkar.

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