Charges of fraud have been brought against Ioan Bolborea, a 65-year-old sculptor from Romania nearly ten years after his work was unveiled; and this is not the first time the work has made the news. Bolborea was commissioned to complete a series of sculptures from 2005-2016, and back in 2012, the Bucharest municipality installed one of them in front of their National History Museum – the work was publicly ridiculed, with even the museum’s curator stating it was of “doubtful artistic quality.”
Now to make matters worse, in 2017, the sculpture suffered damage, at which point it was determined that the materials used were brass, not bronze, as agreed. As a result, the artist has been charged with defrauding the Bucharest municipality of €3.7M ($4.5M).
Interestingly, the artist is defending himself by stating that “brass gives a beautiful patina… the costs are the same, sometimes brass is even more expensive [than bronze].” He goes on to claim that the Romanian authorities are “trying to pin all sorts of crap on me” due to legal disputes…
I wonder what his defense is for the poorly executed statue at the center of the controversy?
Since the discovery, three additional monuments by the artist are being investigated by authorities.