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Police have arrested two men who allegedly forged and sold artworks for a low price, Israel Radio reported Monday afternoon.
Curator and art expert Yoram Breier, CEO of Gemolab, a company doing estimates of property value allegedly collaborated with Ein Hod-based curator Shuli Yiluz in the forgery of the pieces.
The forgery was revealed after art experts notified Hana Orloff's granddaughter that pieces of her grandmother, usually sold for prices in the hundreds of thousands, were being sold in a Haifa auction by Yiluz for only several thousand dollars.
Allegedly Breier, who's estimates are highly regarded in the Israeli art scene, put prices on the pieces sold by Yiluz despite knowing they were forged.
Orloff, a Jewish sculptor born in Ukraine in 1888, came to Palestine with her parents as a child. She studied in Paris before the First World War and lived her life in France, but always had a strong bond to Palestine and later the Jewish state.
Her oeuvre encompasses the entire range of sculptural techniques and subjects, including public sculptures.
Among her well know pieces in Israel is the Dov Gruner monument in Ramat Gan, and a statue of mother and child in Ein Gev commemorating Israeli women's bravery during the Independence War.