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US pastor convicted over Damien Hirst fakes

Published on Apr 9, 2014 4:29 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - A Florida pastor was convicted in New York on Tuesday of trying to sell five forged works of millionaire British artist Damien Hirst to an undercover detective for US$185,000 (S$231,800).

Kevin Sutherland, 46, was convicted by a jury in the State Supreme Court of attempted grand larceny in the second degree and faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced on May 19.

The pastor, who dabbles in art dealing, came a cropper after approaching auction house Sotheby's in Manhattan with a purported Hirst painting in December 2012.

When Sotheby's tried to authenticate the "spin" painting, Hirst's London studio, Science Ltd., said it was a fake.

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