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    Belarus: fake Chagall auctioned off at $650,000

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    MINSK, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - A Chagall went off for $650,000 at the Paragis, major Minsk-based antiquarian auction house, May 29. An awkward sensation came a few days later-the canvas was fake, Lyudmila Khmelnitskaya, Marc Chagall memorial house/museum manager, said to Novosti on Tuesday.

    She was referring to conclusions by Chagall Committee experts in Paris and an expert team of Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery.

    The painting was certainly a fake, Meret Meyer-Graber, the artist's granddaughter, also said to the Belarussian television. She is vice-president of the Chagall Committee, with an HQ in Paris.

    Khmelnitskaya said the story of the disputed canvas was obscure. It was in Moscow for a long time.

    An anonymous private expert assumed Chagall painted it somewhere in between 1915 and 1920, before emigrating Russia. His opinion was made public on a previous occasion.

    Marc Chagall (1887-1985), painter of world renown, was born in Vitebsk, a town in Belarus.

    His exposition-the largest-ever, under the motto, "Hail, Motherland!"-finished in the Tretyakov Gallery, May 29.

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