Monday, October 7, 2013

Famous Forgers

This week, we're reading Can You Ever Forgive Me? by Lee Israel.  She created tons of forged letter from famous people when her writing career took a turn for the worst.  But she wasn't the first, no the last, person to create forgeries.  Here are just a few others.

Joseph Cosey (AKA Martin Coneely)

He was most famous for forging historical documents.  After spending most of his free time through his early life reading up on history, Cosey started forging the most well known of people: Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe & Ben Franklin were just a few people that his forged signatures of.  He even forged a "draft" of the Declaration of Independance.  In fact, his forgeries were so good, it's believed that some of them are still in circulation today, believed to be the real thing.


Yes, you read that right.  The very same man who painted the Sistine Chapel started his illustrious career as a forger.  One of the first sculptures he did, he imitated Roman sculptures... then he damaged & buried it, only to "discover" it later.  It was passed off as a genuinely ancient roman sculpture.

Frank Abagnale

Catch Me If You Can was a movie based off of Abagnale's life.  While more of a con-man than a forger, he managed to create forged checks & con people into thinking he could fly planes and even was a medical supervisor for close to a year.

Yves Charudron

Charudron actually forged SIX copies of the Mona Lisa, after stealing the original piece of artwork.  His intent was to sell it to six different buyers, all of them receiving a forged copy.  Inevitably he was caught and he stated he just had wanted to see the Mona Lisa returned to Italy.

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