Lothar Malskat was unsatisfied with the private victory of knowing that his “medieval” frescoes were considered newly discovered masterpieces, so he took a most unusual step. He sued himself, in order to have the public, on-the-record platform of a trial in which to prove his guilt. Which no one believed, until he pointed out several intentionally inserted anachronisms in the church frescoes in question that could not possibly have been painted in the Middle Ages, including a turkey (indigenous to the Americas, there were no turkeys gobbling around 12th-century Germany) and a portrait of Marlene Dietrich.

Such anachronisms were dubbed “time bombs” by cuddly criminal Tom Keating, who hid them throughout his forgeries, in order to a) make so-called experts look bad, as they couldn’t even notice such a blatant clue that the work in question was fake, and b) because he thought they might offer an escape clause if he were caught, since they should be so obvious as to make intentional fraud impossible….read more 

Image | Salon/Ilana Lidagoster