Prison for seller of Heyboer fakes
The Ministry of Justice has demanded a sentence of 12 months, four of which provisional, against 72-year old Robert de B. on Tuesday, who sold fake etchings of artist Anton Heyboer to a gallery-owner in Amsterdam. Robert de B. says that he only wanted to earn money off the counterfeits. He did not make the etchings himself, but will not reveal his source. Justice says that the suspect must have known that the works he was selling were fakes. Graphic artist Robert de B. told the court that he was never interested in the authenticity of the etchings. "I don't take Heyboer's work seriously, it's always bad."
The suspect was subpoenaed in February for forging around 4,500 Anton Heyboer etchings. At that time, the owners of the gallery on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, Georges Knubben and Cozijn Simon were not prosecuted as there was no evidence they knowingly sold forged pieces. They were sold Heyboer's etchings by Robert de B. in 2005, who claimed he was an archaeologist named Professor Bijvoet. They were told that the etchings were made in the 1950s and used to belong to Heyboer's late friend Josef Santen. Georges Knubben paid €200,000 for the collection, even though he was aware that Heyboer's widow, along with several collectors, doubted the authenticity of the pieces. Bijvoet came back to the gallery on the 5th of August, 2012. This time, the gallery owners locked him in and called the police. Investigations from the Dutch Forensic Institute confirm that the pieces are indeed fakes.