Art World Rife with Forgery, Claims Renowned Artist


Peter Ireland, a Wanganui artist, recently uncovered a fake Gottfried Lindauer painting at the Waikato Museum of Art and History. This revelation has sparked a broader conversation about the prevalence of art forgeries. Ireland’s discovery took 10 months to be acknowledged by the painting’s owners, Trust Waikato, who have since involved the police and legal experts. The painting, depicting Tainui chief Kewene Te Haho, was purchased for $121,000 in 2001 and is suspected to be the work of notorious forger Karl Sim. Ireland’s findings highlight the ongoing issue of art forgery and the need for vigilance in the art community.


The Discovery of the Forgery

Peter Ireland’s journey to uncovering the fake Lindauer painting began during a also to an exhibition by fellow Wanganui artist, potter Paul Maseyk. While exploring the museum, Ireland noticed the painting of Tainui chief Kewene Te Haho and immediately suspected it was not an authentic Lindauer. “It took just two minutes of looking at it to realize it wasn’t a Lindauer,” Ireland stated.

The Investigation Process

Ireland’s suspicions set off a lengthy investigation. It took 10 months from the time he reported the forgery for Trust Waikato, the painting’s owners, to take action. The painting, purchased at auction in 2001 for $121,000, was eventually scrutinized, leading to the involvement of the police and legal experts.

Timeline of Events