Victor Vekselberg, who owns an imperial collection of Easter eggs, was accused of fabrication.
"One of the Easter eggs bought by the businessman from the heirs of the Forbes family in the winter of 2004, the 'Spring Flowers', is false," Valentin Skurlov, expert of Russian branch of the Christie's auction house said. Meanwhile, the newspaper Kommersant reports that the representatives of the collector did not question the authenticity of the egg even for a single moment.
Having analyzed archive materials and special literature and comparing 'Spring flowers' (it is a red enamel egg with a 'surprise' - there's a hidden basket of flowers inside of it) with Faberge's Easter eggs of the similar type and look-alike fabrications, so-called 'Falseberges', Mr. Skurlov came to a conclusion that the egg had been made in 1961 and bore no relation to Carl Faberge's firm. The expert came to such determination on the basis of several factors from which he especially highlighted the following: "On the bottom rim that is covered with brilliants the quality of catch is absolutely low, the gems are not calibrated - all different. It is extremely non-peculiar for Faberge's products". Mister Skurlov is so sure of his own conclusions that he openly stated in a television broadcast –that "it costs 15 thousand dollars to make such an egg."
An official representative of the 'Svyaz Vremyon' fund, Andrei Shtorkh, informs that the fund has no doubt in the authenticity 'Spring flowers' and as Mr. Skurlov has never in his life held the egg in his hands, his expert examination is absurd. "We have one question to ask," Mr. Shtorkh said.
Shtorkh said - "How a person can make an examination using a photograph? Since 1961 the egg has been exposed to the market, has been exhibited, world's largest experts have seen it and held it in their hands. It does have the most respected provenance."
Now the "Svyaz Vremyon's" lawyer studies how much mister Skurlov's statements have hurt the reputation of the fund, then, probably, a decision to bring a legal action will be made concerning possible lack of the expert's conscientiousness. The fund also theoretically considers possibility of going to the law-enforcement bodies with a request to investigate motivation of the same statements. According to 'Svyaz Vremyon' fund's information "all the public excitement around the eggs from mister Vexelberg's collection might relate to some interested party that "clears away" Faberge market to put a new forgery out on it."