Warhol Brillo Boxes in Sweden Are Fakes

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception

Warhol Brillo Boxes in Sweden Are Fakes
by Louise Nordstrom
Friday, November 16, 2007

Brillo Boxes, Andy WarholStockholm, Sweden (AP) — Six Brillo boxes in the Andy Warhol collection at a Swedish museum are fakes made in 1990, three years after the famed pop artist died, the museum said Friday.

Warhol created the original Brillo boxes, replicas of Brillo soap pad cartons, as part of a 1964 exhibition displaying artwork resembling supermarket products.

The Moderna Museet in Stockholm said it had investigated the authenticity of its six wooden Brillo boxes, donated by its former head, Pontus Hulten, in 1995, after a Swedish newspaper claimed they were all copies.

In a letter to the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board in New York, museum director Lars Nittve confirmed the claims.

“These boxes are not authorized by the artist and should be removed from the official list of Andy Warhol Brillo boxes,” Nittve wrote in the letter.

The Swedish tabloid Expressen reported in June that Hulten “” the head of the Modern Museum in Stockholm in the 1960s and of the Centre Pompidou in Paris in the 1970s and 1980s “” had Swedish carpenters build 105 copies of the Warhol Brillo box for an exhibition in Russia in 1990.

Expressen claimed that Hulten, who died last year, then sold a number of the copies with certificates falsely stating they were made for a Warhol exhibition in Stockholm in 1968.

The report prompted the museum to launch an internal investigation, examining its six Brillo boxes as well as four others belonging to private collectors.

All six of the museum’s boxes and one of those held by private collectors “should be seen as copies/exhibition material,” the museum said.

The museum said it in a statement that the boxes would “most likely be deregistered from the collection, and catalogued as archive material” unless the Warhol board reaches another conclusion.

via Global Museum Headlines, Photo © Henri Dauman, New York City from Eye of the Art