Art forger, 71, to be prosecuted; galleries off the hook
Georges Knubben and Cozijn Simon, two Gallery owners who were suspected of selling forged artwork by Anton Heyboer, will not be prosecuted after all. The Prosecution dropped the charges for lack of evidence. The prosecution dropped the report of the widows of Heyboer, because there is no lawful and conclusive evidence that the gallery owners knowingly sold forged artworks.
The etchings had belonged to Haarlem artist Josef Santen, who was a friend of Anton Heyboer in the fifties, according to Knubben en Simon. However, the Dutch Forensic Institute discovered that the signature on the etchings was different from those of proven Heyboer artworks from the same period. The 71-year-old man who sold 4,500 forged Anton Heyboer etchings to the gallery owners will now be subpoenaed. The trial date is not yet known. Since the possession of forged art is not illegal, the 180 ceased etchings will be returned to the gallery owners. They may be sold under the condition it's made clear that they are "not original works" by Anton Heyboer.