The judge for preliminary investigations of the Court of Rome acquitted Vittorio Sgarbi in the procedure that saw the art critic accused of having certified as authentic some works attributable to the artist Gino De Dominicis, deemed fakes from the command for the protection of cultural heritage of the carabinieri. After a council chamber of about two hours, the judge dropped the charges with the formula “because the fact does not constitute a crime”. The gup also acquitted with the same formula Duccio Trombadori while he indicted others 19 people involved in the investigation. For them the trial has been set for next December 21st.
The proceeding which was examined by the judge for the preliminary hearings is the one that led, in november 2018, to the arrest of two people, both finished ai domiciliary. Twenty people were entered in the file, including Sgarbi himself whom the magistrates contested, in his role as president of the Gino De Dominicis Archive Foundation of Rome, the violation of article 178 letter C of the code of cultural heritage and landscape. Also in November 2018 at the disposal of the investigating judge they were seized beyond 250 works considerate counterfeit for a value of over 30 million euros and the room used for laboratory where works were found with all the material suitable for the production of fakes.
According to the accusatory system, on the lawful market ofcontemporary art numerous counterfeit works of art would have been released, accompanied by fraudulent certifications of authenticity, attributed to the famous artist from the Marches De Dominicis – recognized as one of the most important authors of post-World War II Italian art with increasingly rising prices on the market – and, to a lesser extent, to other masters of contemporary art. Moreover, three years ago i carabinieri they carried out two other precautionary measures against as many gallery owners who provided for the prohibition to exercise the profession.
In the precautionary order issued in 2018, the investigating judge explained that the “investigations of the proceeding originated from the contrast between two archives, both dedicated to De Dominicis himself. This contrast sees lined up – wrote the investigating judge – on the one hand the “Gino De Dominicis” archive based in Foligno, represented by Paolo De Dominicis, cousin and heir of the artist and on the other hand the “Gino De Dominicis Foundation / Archive” based in Rome “. In the structure of this second foundation “there are numerous subjects under investigation in the proceedings”, the judge added, explaining that “it is important to note that De Dominicis, not recognizing the photography documentary value, has always hindered the publication of catalogs of his works. The catalog raisonné created in 2011 documented 632, while according to some estimates the artist in his entire life would not have produced more than 800-850 works ”.
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