Manchester

Amarna Princess statue to return to Bolton Museum

Amarna Princess
Image caption The Amarna Princess was bought by Bolton Museum in 2003

A fake ancient Egyptian statue will return to a museum in Greater Manchester which displayed it believing it was genuine.

Bolton Museum bought the Amarna Princess for £440,000 in 2003 after the British Museum authenticated it.

Forger Shaun Greenhalgh made the statue in a shed in the back garden of his Bolton home. He was jailed in 2007 for conning museums and art houses.

The statue will return to the museum in April as part of a collection of fakes.

Fakes and Forgeries - which includes the Amarna Princess - was put on by the Metropolitan Police's Art and Antiques squad at the Victoria and Albert Museum in January.

Bolton will be the first town outside London to host the exhibition, which includes work of other forgers and explains the techniques they used and how they were able to convince experts.

It also explains some of the techniques which police use when detecting fake artworks and tracing forgers.

Councillor Elaine Sherrington, of Bolton Council, said: "We have always been interested in the Amarna returning to Bolton, as we recognise that it is of great interest to the public.

"However, we do not wish to condone criminal activity, so it was important that the statue was displayed sensitively.

"This exhibition educates the public about forgers, explains the techniques they used and also how they were caught by the authorities and rather than glamorising crime, will hopefully show that even the most artful of forgers is eventually brought to justice."

Greenhalgh also made several other forgeries, including of statues by Barbara Hepworth, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Man Ray.

He was jailed for four years and eight months in 2007 after admitting fraud and money laundering at Bolton Crown Court.

His parents helped sell their son's forgeries, making at least £850,000 over a 17-year period.

His father George Greenhalgh sold the objects to museums and art houses, claiming he had found or inherited them.

He and his wife Olive Greenhalgh were given suspended jail terms after admitting conspiracy to defraud.

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