Ely Sakhai

Art dealer, Person

1952 –


Who is Ely Sakhai?

Ely Sakhai is a US art dealer born in 1952.

Ely Sakhai emigrated from Iran to USA in 1965. He became a minor art dealer who owned The Art Collection, Inc. and Exclusive Art art galleries in lower Manhattan, New York City. Among other things, he sponsored the Ely Sakhai Torah Center.

Ely Sakhai is a convicted purveyor of forged art., in 1980s Sakhai begun to visit auction houses regularly and purchased Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. Paintings included works of Marc Chagall, Paul Gauguin, Marie Laurencin, Monet, Auguste Renoir and Paul Klee.

According to the FBI, behind the scenes, Sakhai was making forgeries. He bought only lesser-known works worth no more than a few hundred thousand dollars. He had the painting copied, by Chinese immigrants working in the upstairs of his gallery, took the genuine certificate of authenticity and sold the copy. Months or years later he would obtain a certificate of authenticity for the original and then sell it. He usually sold the forgeries to Asian collectors and real ones to New York and London galleries. Japanese collectors trusted the certificate and would not commission a European expert to authenticate a mediocre painting.

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on July 23, 2013


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