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April 3, 2012

ARCA Awarded Stuttgart Detective Ernst Schöller 2012 Art Policing and Recovery Award

Painting in the style of Max Ernst
ARCA's Board of Trustees has awarded Ernst Schöller this year's Art Policing and Recovery award in in recognition of his dedication and work within the Stuttgart Fine Art and Antiquities Squad.  The award will be presented at the fourth annual International Art Crime Conference on June 23-24 in Amelia, Umbria, Italy.

Previous year's winners include Vernon Rapley (2009), Charlie Hill (2010), and Paolo Giorgio Ferri (2011).

Kriminalhauptkommissar (translated to English as Chief Detective) Ernst Schöller works for the Landeskriminalamt Baden-Württemberg (the State Criminal Investigations Department of Baden-Württemberg).  He is also a scholar specializing in investigating forgery cases.

Last year Schöller helped in the case of the German forgery run by Wolfgang Beltracchi  (interviewed this month by Spiegel) that sold falsely attributed artworks with fake provenance internationally to buyers, including actor Steve Martin.  He worked to retrieve the fake copy of the painting, La Horde, falsely attributed to artist Max Ernst.  The forged "La Horde" was sold to a German collector in 2006 for around 3.5 million pounds.

Kriminalhauptkommissar Schöller described his other investigations:
Wolfgang LÄMMLE faked works by artists of the “south German school” and of the so-called “classic Modern Art” with over 500 paintings and prints. (1988-1990).
KonradKUJAU, the well- known as forger of the “Diaries of Adolf Hitler" in the 1980s as well as forger of paintings and drawings till his death in 2000.
Geert Jan JANSEN, alias Jan van den Bergen was searched by the Netherland authorities for 10 years. He lives as "Jan van den Bergen" in France (Orleans, Poitiers) with his girl friend. (1994-95) 
Leon AMIEL - publisher in New York, a great success of the “New York postal inspection service“ in 1992-93. On one day there were sequestered more than 83.000 faked prints (etchings, lithographs, wood cuts….) from Dali, Miro, Chagall and Picasso. 
Alexej JAWLENSKY - Exhibition at the “Folkwang Museum“ in Essen in the year 2000, 108 of 150 exhibited works were faked, totally there were nearly 600 fakes, drawings and watercolors, each described in the cataloque raisonnee (Volume 5, Beck, Munich). They were retired  2005. 
Alberto GIACOMETTI - Investigations of the LKA Stuttgart,  with the seizure of more than 1200 sculptures (bronzes and plasters) of A. Giacometti in a worth of 250-300 millions of Euros. The actors were convicted in 2011 and in 2012 received up to 9 years from District Court of Stuttgart.
Schöller wrote in an acceptance email that he is looking forward to attending ARCA's International Crime Conference in Amelia this June.