Rachel Harris, TV Blackbox, 22 August 2023
THE WHITELEY ART SCANDAL tells the riveting story of the greatest art fraud case in Australian history. Broadcast as part of ABC’s Arts Week, this fascinating documentary takes a rare, behind the scenes look at the glamorous and high-stakes world of art dealing.
In 2009, car salesman turned art dealer, Steve Nasteski, buys what he believes to be a genuine painting by acclaimed Australian artist Brett Whiteley. But when suspicions are raised about its authenticity, a chain of events leads to a sensational trial in Melbourne. Well-known art dealer Peter Gant and conservator Aman Siddique stand accused of creating and fraudulently bringing to market not one, but three, fake Whiteley paintings.
At first it seems an open and shut case – but all is not as it seems and an explosive piece of evidence turns the case against the two accused men on its head.
With twists worthy of a thriller and extraordinary access to key players including Peter Gant and Wendy Whiteley, The Whiteley Art Scandal throws up questions about the integrity of our cultural heritage and the unregulated nature of the art market, and asks if it’s time for the Australian police to establish specialised art fraud squads.
From 18-24 September, the ABC will celebrate the rich diversity of the arts from around the country with ABC Arts Week. Delve into the ABC Arts collection on ABC iview, your destination for premium Australian arts content at https://iview.abc.net.au/category/arts
Production credit: An In Films Production for the ABC in association with Screen NSW. Written & Directed by Yaara Bou Melhem. Producer: Ivan O’Mahoney. ABC Commissioning Editor: Kalita Corrigan.