Twenty one paintings were seized from an exhibition at Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale last July. Now, 20 of them have been denounced as reproductions. Photo: courtesy Jensens, Wikimedia Commons

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Twenty-one paintings were removed from a show at Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale last July as prosecutors began to investigate doubts over authenticity. These were raised by experts including Italian collector Carlo Pepi and Parisian art historian Marc Restellini.

The show, which had been attended by more than 100,000 visitors, closed early.

Following months of research, 20 of the works have now been denounced as reproductions.

Italian police are believed to be investigating Hungarian-born, US-based dealer Joseph Guttmann, who loaned a number of the works to the show, Rudy Chiappini, the exhibition’s curator, and Massimo Vitta Zelman, the president of the company which organised the show, under suspicion of fraud.

In a statement to The Art Newspaper Guttmann said he still believes the paintings to be authentic. Chiappini told the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera that he also believes the artworks to be “good”. He has issued a list of experts who verified the works, past owners and museums that have exhibited the paintings.

Independent expert Isabella Quattrocchi has been appointed by Italian prosecutors to assess the images. She has claimed that the pigment in the seized works do not match those of Modigliani and that the frames come from the US and Eastern Europe.