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10 Famous Fake Antiques and the Suckers Who Bought Them


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Amarna Princess
Because artifacts related to King Tutankhamen are extremely popular with museum goers, a genuine statue of one of his relatives would be a huge visitor draw for a museum. © SOEREN STACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Because artifacts related to King Tutankhamen are extremely popular with museum goers, a genuine statue of one of his relatives would be a huge visitor draw for a museum. © SOEREN STACHE/AFP/Getty Images

In 2003, both the British Museum and Christie's authenticated an ancient Egyptian statue of the granddaughter of King Tutankhamen, dating the Amarna Princess as 3,300 years old.

The Bolton Museum purchased the piece that same year, but shortly after it went on display in 2004 it was discovered to be a fake. The princess, as it turns out, is not a real antiquity. She really came from Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, and was made by Shawn Greenalgh in his parents' shed. Greenalgh and his parents made and sold forgeries for more than 17 years, earning more than a million dollars running their scheme.

Greenhalgh was jailed for four years for fraud and money laundering, and his parents, George and Olive, were given suspended jail sentences for conspiracy to defraud.

The Amarna statue is now the property of the London Metropolitan Police, and has been displayed in an exhibition about forgeries at the Bolton Museum.


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