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Sadigh : king of fake sellers

Started by admin, August 11, 2012, 09:23:17 AM

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When you read what we have here, bear in mind we were telling everyone the truth about this crook very  many years before they arrested and convicted him


and here,106.0.html

also check this out!


Just to let you know that there is another renewed endeavour to get Sadigh closed  down.

There was also website but  his attorney got it closed down. It will reappear  soon.
If you want to assist in any way I can put you in touch with the person coordinating this.



we signed: Sadigh Gallery Ancient Art Inc. - A matter of Great Concern

# 108
I am a very inexperienced collector. I am now concerned about the many allegations against the company because I recently spent a considerable sum of money (certainly for me, anyway) on some items while visiting his gallery. I am not qualified to say whether or not they are frauds, but I do hope that this is properly looked into.
# 106
I bought 3 artefacts from them in the late 1990s, all of which were guaranteed to be ancient Egyptian. Now it seems they're not worth the paper on which the guarantees are written. Sue Sadigh for fraud & close them down!
# 104
The famed shipwreck salver Robert Marx gets fakes from this guy among other sources and has been reselling them as genuine shipwreck artifacts for the last 20 years. He is being sued for this activity now. Check with case file 05-2012-CA-020530. Reports to the FBI went unanswered for this as well. I cannot believe these scum can get away with their crimes for so long.
Mr. Matthew Orkisz, MI
# 102
I worked there. FAKE!!!
# 99
As an egyptologist/archaeologist I hate the hardly discernable fakes as fraud! Not the cheep tourist fakes of which villagers indeed are dependent. But not only the "chique" fraud is immoral ! Here in Holland we have currently a huge discussion on a famous kind of "Antques Roadhow" on tv, in which showing of and so encouraging trading in illegally imported genuine antiquities is to be condemned. (Egyptologist/archaeologist)
Dr.Maarten Kersten, Netherlands
# 98
I purchased 3 items from Sadigh a few years ago when I was a real novice in ancient items. I realize now they are fakes but it's too late to return them.
# 92
Every dealer and every collector will eventually be fooled, but the fact that the Sadigh Gallery consists almost completely of obvious fakes, after 30 years in the business, suggests fraud, not incompetence. This business has been a source of heartache and disappointment to many beginning collectors, and its prominence among antiquities dealers, through massive and aggressive marketing, serves to give a bad name to an entire profession.
Mr. Mike Smith, ON
# 91
There is a great deal of commentary online about Mehrdad Sadigh and also a lot which clearly he puts out trying to defend himself. I came across this. So let the man speak for himself! This is copied and pasted as it appears. No comment needed really.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> New York City, NY (PressExposure) -- Collecting ancient art forms or art species is a very popular habit for many people. They do not mind in spending lot of money and time over collecting authentic artifacts from any corner of the planet. They prefer to roam around to find several art species from the ancient era to keep in their possession. This really leads to an exceptional satisfaction of possessing some rare collection from the by gone era. This is undoubtedly and innovative hobby but incorporates a huge risk of being befooled. It is very essential to have the basic knowledge about the authenticity of the object that you are collecting for such a possession by spending huge amount of money. Even you need to have access to a very reliable source so that you can never befooled without some fraud species. Sadigh Gallery Art is such a collection that can provide authentic artifacts from different age. You can have a wide access of variety in art forms in this sadigh gallery art company. They try to provide variation in your old artifact collection y providing a wide rang of artifacts from the by gone days. Sadigh Gallery Ancient Art brings several authentic species of ancient art including jewelry and framed form. You can purchase according to your requirement and preference just by a click. It is a spontaneous urge for all human beings to discover the mysteries of unknown and the mysteries of the by gone days reserves a special attention for all ages. This is the reason behind the huge research and collection of species from the ancient days. People love to keep various art forms from the old age in their personal collection. This is really an innovative collection, as each and every species can never have a replica. Sadigh Gallery Ancient Art Company can give you pleasure of having the rare collection from the by gone era in various forms of your choice. Sometime people who love to collect such artifacts fail to judge the authenticity. That is reason it is preferable to go to the reliable gallery so that you can never befooled. Sadigh Gallery can give you a complete assurance on the issue of authenticity
damien michon, France
Mr. Joseph Mastrario, GA
# 88
I myself have been a victim of Sadigh Galleries fakes. I was heartbroken to find several items we purchased for my mother turned out to be fakes. Not only do they rip off the public. They also hurt the legitimate antiquities
Mr. Spyros Skouras, CA
# 83
I have been a serious antiquities collector & dealer for many years.I have run across fakes from Sadigh Gallery several times & have even purchased some from another collector. Although the fakes were accepted by Sadigh- the purchaser had to be convinced to return to Sadigh. There are many inexperienced collectors like the one who had the fake item & think the item is genuine.These people are all being cheated without any knowledge of it.
# 79
This is clearly fraudulent activity, and ,at a minimum, false advertising. There should be a push to garner a class for legal action?
Mr. Thomas Albert, VA
Mar 13, 06:27
# 78
Fraud is fraud no matter how it is disguised.
Mr. Scott Semans, WA
# 77
Investigation or class action is needed. He was selling good material in the 1980s when I last dealt with him, but evidently things have changed.
Name not displayed, United Kingdom
# 76
I have collected ancient art for many years. Approximately 15 years ago I bought a seemingly Roman sculpture from a biochemistry professor in the USA who was liquidating his collection at the time to fund some expensive surgery which he was in need of. When I received my purchase, on close inspection, it was obviously fake. A second opinion from the British Museum concurred with my opinion. I had to therefore return the sculpture to the professor, giving him the bad news. He was apparently promptly re-reimbursed by the seller, who I was told was in fact Sadigh Gallery. Hope this helps! Regards, Eftis.
# 74
Something HAS to be done to protect the innocent public from fraudulent and deceptive practices.
Richard Banks, VA
# 71
Its absolutely atrocious Sadigh has been deceiving the public for so long and nothing has been done to stop the fraud.
Richard Knack, MI
# 69
I had the writing on a cylinder seal that I purchased from Sadigh Gallery read by an expert. It turned out the cuneiform had no meaning at all, making the cylinder seal from 500 bc a fake.
Mr. Subramaniam Iyer, VA
# 68
When I started collecting, I was also duped by a seller at GoAntiques whose name I don't remember clearly now - it was Near Eastern Treasures or something like that. I had paid $280 for a trash that he claimed was a cylinder seal from Syria. I was an amateur, a novice in that field and was a sitting duck for these kind of people to exploit at that time. Seening Sadigh's stock online, reminded me of those days and I understand how frustrated anybody can be, when they learn that the artefact that they've acquired by spending their hard earned money is a fake and isn't worth anything. Is it a sin, if somebody wishes to pursue his/her passion of studying, collecting and enjoying artefacts of one's area of interest. More than feeling bad about the monetary loss, I felt more dissappointed about the fact that someone can betray my trust to make a quick buck. I think this petition is a collective effort in the right direction in teaching these crooks a lesson. I think sites like ebay and goAntiques also should be sent these kind of petitions which will force them to crack down on these kind of dubious sellers. I'm still uncomfortable with the thought, that somewhere, somebody even now, who's just started to collect and learn about things that he/she is passionate about, is being duped by unscruplous dealers like Sadign to make a quick buck.I hope and pray they don't undergo the same mental agony that I did a few years ago, when I started collecting.
Name not displayed, United Kingdom
# 66
I was once defrauded by Mr. Sadigh in the 1980's. No matter where one stands on the issue of private ownership of antiquities, there is no place for fraud or fakes. Fakes only blur the academic line in the study of ancient art. Ancient art has been collected by private citizens for millenia and it is they who founded many museums and their collections. One may believe the ancient art market promotes looting but it does not have to and most who own such objects repute looting and desire objets collected legally and well provenanced. As an archeaologists one may prefer the collection of marked replicas by the public but to defend forgers and those who sell fake is like defending the profoundly dishonest Heinrich Schliemann, father of field archaeology. He and his motives have left centuries of questions. In defending forgers , you defend the moustache on the mask of Agamemnon itself and all the questions and waisted time caused by dishonesty.
Ms. Heather Helbig, VI
# 65
If it hadn;t been for the Yahoo Group Ancientartifact I to would have fallen foul of this trickery.
moheb salem, Egypt
# 63
I have had dealings (all bad) with this person. Nothing I b ought was authentic. We were also harrassed to sell items to him, which he claimed were fake (They were later determined to be authentic) He offered much more than than what we paid, but far less than half their true worth.
Doug Hill, MI
# 60
It is amazing this Guy has been defrauding the public for 30 years.. And continues today!
Rod Rogers, NY
# 54
Beware all investors and art lovers.
Mr. Pekka Erelt, Estonia
# 53
If we compare the passion for antiquities with unspoiled nature, we see that Sadigh Gallery is like an environmental pollution..
Emily Cunningham, RI
# 51
For years I have been appalled at the massive number of blatant fake items this dealer has been selling, "guaranteeing authenticity" yet undeniably knowing that they are cheap tourist fakes. As soon as a collector or dealer speaks out against this fraud it appears the gallery owners have some way of attacking them and having blog posts, incriminating evidence, negative reviews and new stories exposing them removed from the web. Hopefully this petition will survive their attempts.
Mr. Nils Anders Lunde, Norway
Dr. Peter Meloncelli, AB
# 47
Curator of the Egyptian department of the RMO Leiden, told me the artefacts I bought from Sadigh Gallery are fake.
send a green star
Robert Pearson, CO
# 45
Let us call a spade a spade. The man is a fraud and a cheat and has duped literally thousands of would be collectors over very many years. If he suddenly had to refund money to everyone who bought a fake with a certificate of authenticity he would go bust overnight.
Robert Dodge, CO
# 40
I'm a serious collector of Greek and Egyptian antiquities for over 15 years, and I can tell with certainty that his his artifacts are not genuine.
send a green star
Dr. Kerry Drew, CA
Mar 06, 04:33
# 39
As a professional artist, art authenicator and collector of art and artifacts for more than 40 years, I hereby state that I have seen numerous items displayed for sale by Sadigh Gallery, and represented as genuine ancient artifacts which are unquestionably not ancient, not genuine artifacts, but items either misrepresented as ancient, or else, were both manufactured and advertised to deliberately deceive the ignorant and unwary buyer; or in other words, to cheat and to rob them . -KMD-
# 35
I am former customer and should be able to sign twice! Although I received a full refund for all items purchased, and it was a learning experience, Mr. Sadigh is knowingly selling thousands of fake modern items and representing them as being ancient artifacts. By signing his COA's he is basically admitting that. I hope he is forced one day to open his books and provide refunds to all customers!
Ms. Emma Visser, Netherlands
# 34
I bought Egyptian artifacts from him. Experts told me that they are fakes.
Name not displayed, CT
# 33
I wonder what the rate of return is at this gallery? Don't buy on faith, even good reputable dealers can make a mistake. Know or get help with your artifacts and never buy from a dealer that does not have a hassle-free return policy.
Mrs. Pam Boland, GA
# 31
There are a lot of sincere collectors who have spent their hard earned money on this man's trash, believing that they are buying a piece of history.
send a green star
Mr. Konstantin Trubin, Russian Federation
# 25
One does not know to what extent Mr Mehrdad Sadigh is knowlegeable or not about ancient artefacts. After all, on the face of it he has next to no experience at all of genuine ancient artefacts. The fact that he can describe as Roman diplomas several poorly made and near enough identical replicas of Sabean inscribed votive plaques rather illustrates this. There are very many of these somewhat strange descriptive errors on his colourful website. One does not know what is in Mr Sadigh's mind and it could conceivably be the case that even after a reputedly large number of buyers, over a very long period of time, have returned pieces saying that they have been very reliably informed that they are not ancient artefacts, that Mr Sadigh honestly continues to believe that they are genuinely ancient. One does not know why Mr Sadigh has not thought to himself, "how come so many people return things?". Does he not wonder to himself why he has been getting such bad publicity from so many quarters and for so very long? Could it be that he simply doesn't know anything at all about ancient artefacts , doesn't realise that these things he buys in such large quantities, many of such exceptionally poor quality and looking nothing like the genuine article, are simply fantasy pieces and low end tourist souvenirs? Maybe he simply cannot admit to himself that he has been taken for a ride, badly deceived and cheated by the people he has bought from over the last few decades? If he set his mind to discovering whether all this criticism of what he sells is actually justified, he could achieve that quite easily as the proper assessment of his wares is not a difficult task at all. The assertion that the vast majority of his items for sale are not antiquities at all is actually very easy to substantiate. Finally, on looking at his website for about 15 minutes this evening I was able to find a few Egyptian scarabs and amulets which are probably genuine, but the overwhelming majority of items there are such that a collector who has spent only a little time and effort would not for a moment think an ancient artefact. For his own peace of mind and dignity surely Mr Sadigh needs to know the truth about his stock.
Dr. Bron Lipkin, United Kingdom
# 20
It is time this crook is stopped!!!
send a green star
Lev Venislavski, Israel
Mar 05, 17:09
# 18
I am a university history professor, an expert in Chinese antiquities, and can state authoritatively that Sadigh sales in this area and many related ones are fraudulent.
Name not displayed, Belgium
# 16
I agree there needs to be a full investigation by the press and relevant law enforcement agencies. Large scale sale of fakes as genuine antiquities harms the business of all legitimate dealers.
Ms. Pee Moran, United Kingdom
# 14
I have owned a few of there pieces to only discover they were fakes. Each piece had a certificate of authenticity. Each piece was a fake!
Dave Welsh, CA
# 13
I agree that Sadigh Gallery should be investigated by responsible authorities to determine whether this gallery sells fake antiquities, represented as genuine, are true. I am the proprietor of Classical Coins ( and owner of two online discussion lists, one on cultural property law and one on fake antiquities. I do not believe that any antiquarian who has been in business for 30 years could possibly be so ignorant of his subject that he would believe that items of the sort Sadigh is alleged to be selling are genuine.
# 11
Sadigh has been cheating people for far too long. Action is long overdue!
Rick Madge, ON
Mar 05, 15:35
# 10
I foolishly bought items from this man in the past, and eventually discoverd them to be fake. These items even came with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Sadigh himself.
send a green star
Ms. Dana McCall, NC
# 9
Absolutely appalling! It is really difficult to find a genuine antiquity on his webpage
Dr. Joel Hurwitz, MA
# 8
This man has been ripping people off for too long and deserves to be prosecuted
Mr. Frank Boehmer, Germany
# 6
As a serious collector of Roman and Greek antiquities I am appalled by the blatant fakes and cheap tourist souvenirs for which this dealer charges very high prices to ingenuous buyers, and urge the relevant authorities to take action on this long running business of forgery and fraud.
send a green star
Mr. Edward Shapiro, NJ
# 5
In 2012, soon after I began collecting antiquities, I paid Sadigh Gallery more than $2,000 for items Michael Sadigh represented to me to be authentic. Although I visited Sadigh Gallery before buying anything, Michael Sadigh told me that none of the items which I saw in his catalog which I was interested in were available to be viewed at his gallery. I did not get to see any of the items before paying for them. I was only able to see images of them in Sadigh Gallery's "auction" catalog. The items were shipped to me with separate Certificates of Authenticity for each item signed by Michael Sadigh. All items which had "inscriptions" also came with translations. When I showed these items to knowledgeable antiquities collectors, academics, scholars and dealers, they were ALL identified as fakes. Also, all the inscription translations provided by Sadigh Gallery were fake; some of the translations provided come from famous published museum pieces and most of the inscriptions themselves turned out to be nonsensical gibberish. Sadigh Gallery refunded all of my money, including all shipping costs, without hesitation.
nicolas chiriacescu, Switzerland


The final few signatories of the petition.

# 139
I have been studying Sumerian for a number of years, and none of the 'Sumerian artifacts' on this website are actually written in anything that resembles that language. Many of the 'tablets' are illegal, and those that are do NOT use recognized alphabetic or numeric Sumerian symbols. DON'T BUY THEM AS THEY ARE FAKE
Kathleen Averill, PA
# 138
It is morally reprehensible to sell items under fraudulent claims, particularly when the items are of great historical value and significance to civilization.
Michael Pregent, OR
# 137
I am also concerned that Sadigh is still allowed full page glossy ads in Discover magazine, which is supposed to be a legitimate publication.
Name not displayed, NY
# 136
I just read the testimonials on the web site. They sound false.
Paolo Tótola, Brazil
# 134
I had doubts about how legal sadigh was and thought if the Smithsonian recomended them they were ok but I was dissapointed
Bruce Asam, PA
# 129
Name not displayed, Switzerland
# 128
there must be a limit to fraudulous behavior.
Name not displayed, CA
It is absolutely atrocious that Sadigh has been deceiving the public for so long and nothing has been done to stop the fraud.
Bill Kryska, MI
# 124
Found this online: ( and many other instances of much the same thing); "I am a lover of the new arrival section of sadigh gallery. This gallery keeps their collection under a constant updating. A few days ago I was just searching some details about ancient artifact and came to know about the rumor against this wonderful gallery containing the title "sadigh gallery fraud". This was really surprising for me. I have been a customer of this site for a long time and never had any such issue related with the authenticity problem. Moreover, this gallery itself provides a lifetime certificate. It is really surprising that the people do not stop such activity in spite of such authentic certificates. Just after a complete reading of various articles and blogs I went to verify the products to one of friends who are associated with anthropological services for a personal verification. My friend gave me a complete satisfaction after a detailed verification. I took this effort to write a blog just to try from my end to protest against such a negative propaganda against the gallery. Such an action leads me to step out to verify the authenticity of several products and waste my time. This is really very shameful that some people are engaged in such activity and do not mind to misguide several people" So is one reassured?? I think not Mr Sadigh!
Frank Kong, MI
# 118
I am saddened but not as surprised as I could be. I have a couple of items that I bought from this gallery that I have treasured as what they were represented as. Now, of course, all that trust is gone. I was going to shop his site again after all these years when I discovered all of these complaints. I should have known better than to go outside my areas of expertise. This was not good news finding all of these negative posts.
Paul Tremblay, SC
# 116
I am a collector of South Italian pottery, only recently started, and it must be absolutely crushing to find out your piece is a fake. I see collecting as just curating a tiny part of my greek heritage, and these fakes are eroding and clouding Greek (and World) Culture for posterity. Any collector worth his salt is going to do some research, but what about people who just buy a couple of pieces in the course of their lives for the sheer aesthetic joy of it, and newbies? We must all (the antiquities community) take a more activist course on this and get involved in exposing these criminals, because continued toleration will perpetuate the problem, if not increase it!
william kreilick, NJ
# 114
Whether through actionable negligence or a true intent to deceive, it is my opinion that this man is nothing but a common thief.
Keith Amery, United Kingdom
# 112
I have studied history and ancient art for decades, and have a fascination for the antiquities of Egypt, Greece and Rome. The first time I saw the website offerings from Mr. Sadigh, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not only was every item they claimed to be original fake, but they were obvious fakes. There are deceptive forgeries out there, but the items offered by Mr. Sadigh were what I would call tourist items, of little to no value. When I learned how long he had been in business selling these things, and moreover, the well-known publications he has advertised in, I was astonished.
Robert Dodge, CO
# 111
As a dealer we have been approached often by ex Sadigh customers. We have been able to obtain refunds in excess of $40,000 over the last several years. We believe little of what he sells is genuine and will back it up! You can quote me
Bob Dodge, Artemis Gallery


Rips off kids and adults alike!


Some examples taken from a Pinterest board.
See fotos.

More here:







NYC Ancient Art Gallery Advises Collectors About Stolen Antiques and Avoiding Counterfeit
Posted: Sep 25, 2015 3:01 PM GDT <em class="wnDate">Friday, September 25, 2015 10:01 AM EDTUpdated: Sep 27, 2015 10:03 AM GDT <em class="wnDate">Sunday, September 27, 2015 5:03 AM EDT
This article was originally distributed via SproutNews. SproutNews, WorldNow and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
Sadigh Gallery Helps Consumers Avoid Artifact and Antique Collectors Avoid Hobby Pitfalls
New York, USA – September 25, 2015 /MarketersMedia/ —
Sadigh Gallery, an ancient art gallery in New York City that has been buying and selling ancient artifacts and coins from all over the world for more than 30 years, warns consumers about stolen antique merchandise that has inundated the market recently. The problem has become so large that Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has said that money collected from the sale of illegal ancient artifacts is comparable to the amounts generated by the illegal drug trade. [ ]
Recently, when a man was arrested in Toronto, Canada for selling worthless fake Chinese artifacts, local law enforcement officials said that victims were defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars in a few similar cases in British Columbia. []
"It's pretty common to see stolen artifacts and counterfeit items on the market, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, which is a huge problem for the countries from where the items were stolen, and the museums and galleries where the items belong," said Michael Sadigh, owner of Sadigh Gallery. "While it may be impossible to stop the sale of frauds, consumers can do a few things to protect themselves," Sadigh continued.
Sadigh recommends that buyers learn as much as they can about the time period of the piece of they are considering, as well as what tools would have been used to make the artifact, what it should look like, and what it should be made of. "The more buyers know about a piece and it's characteristics, the better they will be at spotting counterfeit pieces of that time period," Sadigh said.
Before buying any piece, examine it closely for telltale signs of the techniques used to make the artifact, including tool marks, and make sure these match the characteristics of artifacts from that period. Listening to a piece can give buyers a lot of information and is Sadigh's favorite evaluation technique. He says, "Flutes should sound like flutes, drums should sounds like drums, and solid artifacts shouldn't sound hollow when you tap them."
Buyers can decrease their risk of purchasing fake or counterfeit items by only purchasing from reputable dealers and seeking a second opinion if they have any doubts. What's more, most quality dealers will offer a money-back guarantee if a buyer isn't satisfied with a purchase.
About Sadigh Gallery
Sadigh Gallery is a family-owned ancient art gallery that specializes in buying and selling artifacts and coins from around the world. Sadigh Gallery has the most comprehensive selection of authentic cultural artifacts, coins, jewelry, and antiquities from nearly every recorded culture in history. All items are sold with a Lifetime Certificate of Authenticity and are guaranteed authentic. The gallery prides itself on providing high quality service and collectables to each and every customer and offers a full purchase price refund for all antiquities and artifacts. Find the perfect gift or collectable at Sadigh Gallery, in person at 303 5th Ave in New York City or online at
For more information about us, please visit
Contact Info:
Name: Michael Sadigh
Organization: Sadigh Gallery
Address: 303 Fifth Ave Suite 1603, New York, NY 10016
Phone: 800-426-2007
Release ID: 92121
Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact

But see here:


Same source - tourist souvenir in Egypt



Heads galore!


Hoover exhibit canceled over questionable artifacts
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · April 25, 2019

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum last week canceled the opening of the Rosetta Stone exhibit after a professor raised questions regarding the authenticity of a majority of the items.
University of Iowa Associate Professor Bjorn Anderson of the Art and Art History department wrote an April 10 letter to the museum stating that 90 of 125 items in the exhibit, set to open Friday, "are either definite or very likely fakes."

The company that owns the exhibit is the Origins Museum Institute. The institute's Marty Martin said he purchased the items about 20 years ago and did not know the items were forgeries.

"It's a horrible situation," Martin said. "We had been assured they were authentic pieces and paid handsomely for them."

Anderson's letter states that many, if not all, of the items appear to be from Sadigh Gallery of New York. Martin stated that he purchased the items from Sadigh Gallery.

Michael Sadigh said he has run the Sadigh Gallery for more than 15 years but it would be difficult for him to speak to an antiquities sale that long ago.

"I don't know anything about this," Sadigh said. "I wasn't here 20 years ago. They purchased it 20 years ago and somebody now says they're not real? I don't know what to say."

Hoover Library and Museum Director Thomas Schwartz said that the claims of authenticity were key to canceling​ the opening​.

"A great many pieces were presented as authentic and that's wherein the problem lies," Schwartz said.

Martin said he does not have the "authority or expertise" to authenticate the items in the Rosetta Stone exhibit, and that he made that clear to the Hoover Museum, and trusted that they were authentic because the seller stated so.

"I didn't mislead them about giving guarantees," Martin said. "We trusted the source we got them from. They assured us they were authentic. I do not want (the Hoover Museum) to think we tried to fool them. I was proud of owning those pieces."

Schwartz said Anderson and graduate assistant Erin Daly on April 5 examined the Rosetta Stone exhibit after the museum invited them to give a talk in June on some of the exhibit highlights. Anderson said he and Daly, an expert on Zodiac seals, visited and took pictures of the items to take back to their offices.

Anderson said that, while they were leaving, Daly commented that she was suspicious of the seals on many of the items, adding that "I've never seen any that big or that nice."

When they looked at, they found many other items with seals of similar quality, and Anderson wondered — and mentioned in his findings to the museum — how the gallery's website could offer "11 copies of the same statue for sale" if the statues are authentic.

He noted that statues of the same shape can be purchased in different patinas — green, gold, blue, etc.

"How does this work?" he said.

Anderson sent a letter to the museum on April 10 laying out the evidence. Schwartz said after reviewing Anderson's letter and its appendices that it appeared that the possibility of making these items this way "in the ancient world was next to nil."

The Hoover Museum arranged the exhibit, but the Hoover Presidential Foundation provided the funding. Foundation President Jerry Fleagle said he supports Schwartz's decision to cancel and the Foundation wants a refund from Origins Museum.

"I support Tom — he made the right decision," Fleagle said. "I'm sure that if he knew ahead of time (about the forgeries) he wouldn't have booked the exhibit."

From talking with museum staff, Fleagle believes the research was thorough to reach the conclusion the pieces were fake.

"There were just way too many questions," he said. "You can't put out an exhibit and advertise the exhibit when it's not authentic."

Schwartz said that many traveling exhibits include replicas — and state that up-front — for a variety of reasons, like security and insurance purposes. He said Origins Museum truthfully reported that the centerpiece item, the Rosetta Stone, was cast from the original.

Schwartz said that when museums display exhibits with replicas, they identify those pieces as such in the exhibit. However, after some discussion regarding the Rosetta Stone exhibit, the staff felt it inappropriate even putting the items on display with a note that the items were reproductions or facsimiles.

"We could say the Rosetta Stone was cast from the original, but for the other pieces, we didn't know if they had actual counterparts someplace," the director said. "So, after a lot of discussions with Professor Anderson and people in Washington and the Foundation, we thought it was just prudent to cut our losses and not open the show."

Fleagle said the Foundation put up half of the cost for the exhibit a year and a half ago when it booked the date and paid the second half when the items arrived at the museum.

He declined to share the amount paid, but said it was "not as expensive as others, but not a small amount, either."

"It will take some time to get our money back," he said. "I'd rather do it friendly and not use legal action."

Martin agreed that the Hoover Museum should cancel his company's exhibit based on their findings.

"This is a terrible calamity for us," Martin said. "My sympathies go with the people who took them in good faith. I've been in communication with the gallery, and they deny the questioning of the authenticity."

Sadigh said he did not remember receiving a call from Martin regarding the Rosetta Stone exhibit.

"I talk to hundreds of people a day here," he said. "I will have to do some research."

Martin said he will seek reparations from Sadigh, which he hopes to use to reimburse the Foundation.

Sadigh said he does not want any bad publicity for his gallery and considered a news article based on someone's verbal statement regarding his company "not proper."

"I'm trying to help you as much as I can," he told the Times. "I don't like to get wrong or bad publicity. ... I do not want to be accused."

Fleagle noted that legal action is not out of the question and that many of the Foundation board of trustees are themselves lawyers.

"This is a disappointment to everybody all the way around," Fleagle said. "Fortunately it was discovered before rather than after. Now we can move forward."

Back-up plan

It so happens that the museum already had an exhibit prepared, Schwartz said.

Due to the five-week-long partial government shutdown that ended in late January, the museum had to cancel an exhibit already in the works and organized by its own staff.

That exhibit, "Collaborative Collectors: Herbert and Lou Hoover," will replace the Rosetta Stone exhibit, which Schwartz said will be ready by May 18 and run through October 27.

Fleagle said he was glad to see the previously canceled exhibit of rarely seen Hoover items now get a chance for public viewing.

"I can guarantee they will all be authentic," Fleagle said. "It will be a good exhibit."


And he FINALLY gets his comeuppance ...

'The owner of a Manhattan gallery was charged with grand larceny and other crimes by prosecutors who say he mass-produced objects that he passed off as ancient artifacts.'