Mr. Landis is a prolific art forger.Sometimes he dresses like a priest.
He approaches museums and donates artwork, which turns out to be a forgery.
The difficulty is that, however annoying and disruptive Landis’s activities may be for museums, he does not seem to have broken the law. "The criminal statute [of fraud] says there must be a loss and that’s the problem. There hasn’t been a loss to any victim," says Robert Wittman, an investigator who used to run the FBI’s Art Crime Team.
Even some of his targets admire Landis’s ­abilities. "I think the fact that someone can produce all of these different styles is pretty phenomenal," says Gray. Others say that his genius is not as a painter but as a con man. "If you examine them with a ­critical eye, it’s over," says Jill Chancey, curator of the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel, Mississippi, "The forgeries aren’t masterful but the con is ­persuasive. The con is good…"
As we drove, Landis mused about having been discovered. "I like people to think of me as an art dealer and philanthropist, but I guess I get to be a dishonourable schoolboy," he said wryly.
The forger’s story, The Financial Times>>