The director of Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts has been temporarily suspended amidst mounting scrutiny of an exhibition that experts say contained forgeries.
Catherine de Zegher was suspended Wednesday night by a board of directors that oversees the Belgian city’s cultural institutions—a decision she only learned of after being asked about it by a journalist, according to artnet News (citing Belgian paper De Tijd). The suspension will last until an investigation into the museum’s 2017 Russian avant-garde exhibition, which some experts believe was littered with fakes, is complete. This news comes amidst mounting criticism of how Zegher handled 24 works loaned to the institution by collector Igor Toporovsky, which were included in the exhibition on Russian modernism. The pieces were removed after experts raised authenticity concerns in The Art Newspaper in mid-January. Zegher claims that she had the collection examined and authenticated by two art historians, but both have since indicated that they had doubts about the works—one went so far as to label the Toporovsky works “fake.”