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Is my Lucian Freud painting too rude for Leigh?
11:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
A LIFE-SIZED version of a £17million oil painting has been causing quite a stir in a Leigh shop window.
Staff at Vanquish Interiors found the mirror-image of Lucian Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, while working in an empty £12million house in Knightsbridge, six months ago.
The company was undertaking interior design work for a developer at the property, and was asked to clear out the basement as part of the job.
It was then the fraudulent Freud was found.
Since then, it has been in the front window of the shop, in Leigh Road, causing a certain amount of controversy and interest.
Some passers-by have called it pornographic, while others have offered to buy it.
Shop owner Troy Giles, 44, said: “It’s in fantastic condition and at first we thought we’d struck gold with an original!
“However, when I checked the artist’s signature, it says ‘Fraud’ instead of ‘Freud’, so it must be a tongue-in-cheek artwork and more of a gimmick.
“We keep it in the shop window, and it’s caused quite a stir!”
The original is an oil on canvas painted by Lucian Freud in 1995.
It held the world record for the highest price paid for a painting by a living artist until May this year, when Gerhard Richter’s Domplatz, Mailand, from 1968, sold for £24million.
Troy, who now hopes to sell his replica masterpiece, said: “Some people have come in to complain about it, saying it’s pornographic. Others have offered me money. One guy offered £7,000 for it, but I think he must have been drunk!.
“Personally, I think it’s worth more.
“It’s definitely one of a kind, and it would be a great talking point in anybody’s house.”
The subject of the original painting, Sue Tilley, has even Tweeted about the copycat painting, saying she thinks it’s more flattering than the original.
Troy added: “I’ve no idea who actually painted it. I can’t find anything about it online.
“I’m hoping to try to sell it. I might put it in an exhibition, or put it online to see if there’s interest, but for now I’ll keep it in the shop window.”
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