Art historian Alberto D'Atanasio speaks during an interview about an unidentified painting, left, which some claim to be a work by Amedeo Modigliani, portrayed in a photograph at center partially covered, June 17.
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No one would believe it, given the modernist master is one of the most sought-after and forged artists around.A public relations firm in Rome that doubles as the Amedeo Modigliani Institute is claiming a signed portrait of "Odette" could be a real deal. The institute itself has no role or expertise in authenticating Modigliani works and has a financial interest in drumming up publicity for its exhibition.Experts cautioned that any purported Modigliani must be greeted with an overdose of skepticism, given the propensity for hoaxes, fakes and forgeries and the financial interests of all involved.The analyses point to the wood frame, canvas, colors and surface dirt as being consistent with the era in which Modigliani lived, said Alberto D'Atanasio – a lecturer at a Brescia art academy that the institute brought in to assess the work before going public.He said Parisot's office responded saying there were no elements to suggest it could be authentic and declined to analyze it further. His client persisted and 10 years later Arbia approached the Rome institute. Arbia freely admits his client wants to sell the work, though he would be hard-pressed to find a collector willing to spend serious money for a painting with no provenance.
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