Mumbai police verify authenticity of Goya mural

Flummoxed Mumbai police officials are trying to verify the authenticity of a canvas painting purportedly transferred from a mural masterpiece titled “Saturn devouring one of his sons,” created by famous Spanish portraitist and religious frescoes painter Franciso de Goya.

The archaeological department has been intimated and police officials are awaiting results so that further investigations and action can be decided.

The Oshiwara police overseeing the swanky north–western suburb in Andheri on Monday carried out a preventive search in the premises of a property dealer, Majid Sultan Khan, to check the licences of the firearms he possesses.

During the search the officials came across a painting measuring 4 x 3 ft in a frame hanging on the wall.

“When we saw the painting, we asked him and he informed us that it is one of the lost masterpieces of famous Spanish painter Goya,” said Oshiwara Senior Police Inspector D K Rupawate.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Rupawate said, “He told us that he got it from one of his client in exchange of a loan. The cost, according to Khan, was above Rs 2 crore but he had not sold it as he was on a lookout for a buyer willing to pay a higher price.

Specialised team

“Since we are not experts, and investigation into art thefts and art forgery or hiding stolen masterpieces behind a copy of some well–known painting requires a hig­hly–specialised investigator,  we seized the paintings and intimated archae- ological department so they can ask art experts and museum curators to look into it and assess whether it is real or a genuine painting.

“We will take the matter further only after expert file their findings...be it of cheating or be it of forgery.”

As per the historical records, Goya during his last years of life had painted the walls of his house outside Madrid in Spain.

These murals were called “Black Paintings” as the expressions were extremely dark reflecting the collapse of values and increasing alienation during early 19th century.
All murals were later transferred to canvas as the walls on which they were painted were crumbling with time.

The transferred paintings were later put up at the Madrid Museum where it is reportedly are on display.

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