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October 23, 1995
By KARYN HUNT
Associated Press Writer
FOSTER CITY, Calif. (AP) -- If the price of infamy is high, auctioneers should rake in a fortune when 12,000 artworks -- mostly fakes -- from a huge Hawaiian art fraud case go on the block Saturday.
"There's actually some really, really terrific pieces of art here," said John Rademaker, vice president of Koll-Dove Global Disposition Services. "We're not trying to put anything over on people. We're flat-out advertising them as faux."
Koll-Dove hopes the notoriety of one of Hawaii's most infamous art fraud cases will attract curious collectors and tempt them to open their wallets for some pretty good fakes.
Among the offerings are phony Salvador Dali works, including a faked "Trojan Horse" sculpture and a faux "Lincoln in Dalivision" print.
All the Dali prints will be stamped "fraudulent" on the back. Many still have the gallery price tags intact, showing prices of up to $45,000.
Also up for sale are original and reproduced images from the pre-Surrealist painter Marc Chagall, and from entertainers Anthony Quinn, Tony Curtis and Red Skelton.
The auction house is selling the phony art for the U.S. Postal Service, which seized the works in a wire and mail fraud case against Center Art Galleries-Hawaii in 1987.
"Sotheby's and Christie's aren't interested in selling fraudulent art," Rademaker said. "So by default, I guess it kind of came to us."
Not all the items are fakes. About 150 original and limited reproduction works will be auctioned, including a limited edition reproduction of a Woody Woodpecker oil painting by the cartoon's creator, Walter Lantz.