Lost Orchid is 'not a forgery'

The controversial "Lost Orchid" painting sold at slain mining magnate Brett Kebble's art auction is original - for now, the auctioneer said.

The controversial "Lost Orchid" painting sold at slain mining magnate Brett Kebble's art auction is original - for now, the auctioneer said.

Graham Britz, who handled the record R2,9million sale of the Vladimir Tretchikoff work, said the investigation into its authenticity had not yet been finalised.

But so far forensic tests proved the painting was an original Tretchikoff, Britz said yesterday.

Art academics, including Professor Alex Duffey of the University of Pretoria, were still busy with "archival" research on the painting's lineage, Britz said.

The sale of the painting earlier this month was set aside last week pending an investigation into its authenticity.

The biggest auction of South African art to date saw several record sales, including that of the "Lost Orchid", which went for R2,9million - excluding the seller's premium and Value Added Tax.

The painting is regarded as one of the most famous works by the Russian-born artist who died in Cape Town in 2006. - Sapa

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