MOSCOW, June 9 (RAPSI) – Investigators have discovered that 19 of the paintings in the £50 million ($84 million) art collection of the late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky are fakes, The Sunday Times writes.
The experts believe that these paintings once hung in Wentworth Park, Berezovsky’s former Surrey mansion.
The fakes include copies of two works by the Russian landscape painters Alexei Savrasov and Alexandre Altmann, which were previously valued at £550,000 ($924,200) and £75,000 ($126,000). Seventeen other paintings, originally valued at up to £500,000 ($840,000), were also found to be forgeries after being examined by art experts in April.
Berezovsky fled from Russia in 2001 and settled in Britain, sometimes calling himself Platon Elenin. He tore up his original will the week before he died and replaced it with a hastily drawn-up document that cut out his first wife Nina and his second wife Galina and their two children. This prompted a bitter family feud.
Berezovsky’s relatives claim that he went broke after divorcing Galina in 2011 and after losing a $5.5 billion in a lawsuit against another Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich.
Berezovsky was found dead by his bodyguard in the bathroom of his house on Mill Lane, Ascot, Berkshire, in March 2013. The results of a post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be consistent with hanging, and a paramedic later said at the inquest that suicide was likely the cause, as there was no evidence indicating otherwise.
In March 2014, the coroner in charge of the inquest said there was no sufficient proof of either a suicide or a murder. Berezovsky left behind a tangled web of legal and financial disputes and obligations.