Published: Friday, 19th Jul 2019

Reformed art forger Shaun Greenhalgh returned to Bolton Museum and expressed deep regret to council officials for his crimes.

Shaun looking at museumThe visit, as part of a new BBC TV series, is only the second time Mr Greenhalgh has set foot inside the museum, following his release from prison in 2010.
And it was the first time he has come face to face with council staff.
Among Mr Greenhalgh’s forgeries was the infamous ‘Amarna Princess’, which was acquired by Bolton Council. A British Museum report authenticated the figure as 3,300 years old.
During his visit last week, Mr Greenhalgh expressed deep regret for his deception.

He said: “I felt really bad over it. I committed a crime, it just seemed to happen but I’m not making excuses, I knew what I was doing.
“This is only the second time I’ve been back to the museum. Everyone’s been very nice. I was half expecting a dagger in my back.”
He also spoke about his fond memories of the museum. “I love Bolton Museum. One of my greatest memories from when I was a child is the museum. Egyptology, art, natural history - this was the place that first inspired me,” he said.
Mr Greenhalgh created several hundred forgeries, which were sold to many museums as well as royalty and even an American president.
But since his release from prison he has been using his undoubted talent legitimately.

He visited the museum with a film crew and director Waldemar Janusczak. Waldemar who is also a Sunday Times art critic was also fooled by the quality of one Shaun’s fakes.

In the documentary, ‘Handmade in Bolton’ he will be remaking four objects from the past using methods and material that are as traditional as possible.
Mr Greenhalgh will be using his skills to make a ceramic plate in the style of Renaissance artist Bernard Palissy.
Palissy was renowned for using casts of live snakes, fish, frogs and lizards in his work.
The crew filmed Mr Greenhalgh visiting the Aquarium and the refurbished Natural History Gallery to look at their collections for inspiration for the plate.

Shaun Greenhalgh looking at collectionsThe museum reopened following a £3.8m refurbishment last September, and one of the centrepieces of the new Egyptology gallery is the Amarna princess.
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Martyn Cox, added: “Mr Greenhalgh committed a serious offence for which he served a considerable prison sentence.

“Since then the ‘Amarna Princess’ has become somewhat of a local if not national curiosity and putting it on display seems appropriate.

“We are glad that Mr Greenhalgh is now putting his extraordinary talents to good honest use.”
The BBC programme is expected to air later this year.
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