site.btaAlleged Jackson Pollock Painting Seized in Bulgaria Has Dedication to Actress Lauren Bacall on Its Back
The alleged Jackson Pollock painting, discovered during a raid of law-enforcers in Bulgaria on Tuesday, has a dedication on the back for the birthday of American actress Lauren Bacall, Sofia Deputy City Prosecutor and spokesperson for the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office, Desislava Petrova, said at a news briefing here on Wednesday.
"Dedicated to my very talented and dear friend Lauren Bacall, Happy Birthday," reads the signed message on the back of the painting, dated September 16, 1949. The date coincides with the actress's birthday.
The painting's discovery was announced on Tuesday. It was found during a raid by the General Directorate for Combating Organised Crime (GDCOC) in an operation which also involved foreign agencies.
Two experts from the National Art Gallery gave an expert opinion on the authenticity of the piece, as further expertise was given by a three-member commission, Petrova stated.
The expert opinion says that the style, technique and artistic specificity of the painting corresponds to the aesthetic features typical of Jackson Pollock's paintings from the 1945-1950 period, the Sofia Deputy City Prosecutor added.
The fluorescence analysis carried out to discover the exact chemical composition of each colour used in the painting shows that the pigments in it are similar to pigments used by Pollock in other works. "This is an important but not decisive element towards the author's identification," the three-member expert commission concluded.
Further examination of the seized painting is to be carried out to establish whether it is an original work and movable cultural property. Tools of international legal assistance, including European Investigation Orders, will be used to establish all the circumstances related to the possible movement and route of the painting, Petrova said.
It was reported Tuesday that several people were arrested during the raid, including a Bulgarian citizen. Petrova said he claim to have been merely storing the painting, not owning it and that he was unsure of its authenticity.
She added that the Bulgarian authorities are investigating a possible attempt at illegal sale of the painting. It is also yet to be determined whether the painting has any link to Romania, the prosecutor's office said, adding that it has neither been declared wanted nor been catalogued.