Art Fund helps rescue David Roberts collection in false accounting and forgery case

  • Published 4 April 2006

Art Fund has played a vital role in recovering an important collection of works by the great Scottish artist, David Roberts.

The paintings were bequeathed to a public collection through the Art Fund in 1990 by Helen Guiterman, a leading expert on David Roberts.

Miss Guiterman died in 1998. However, her bequest failed to materialise, and Art Fund began to make enquiries with the person claiming to be her executor, Mr Gray.

When Mr Gray’s accounts of what happened to the Collection appeared to be inconsistent, the Art Fund sought legal advice.

After investigations by Dorset Police and HM Customs and Revenue, Mr Gray was sentenced to three years imprisonment for false accounting and forgery in an attempt to defraud HM Revenue & Customs of Inheritance Tax.

Thanks to the vigilance and perseverance of Art Fund’s Director of Grants, Mary Yule, the collections have now been secured.

Scottish artist David Roberts (1796-1864) exhibited in London during the 1820s before travelling extensively in the Near East. His prints from Spain and Egypt brought him widespread fame, popularity and critical acclaim.

Roberts’ interest in architecture extended to campaigning for preservation of important remains, colouring perspectives for architects, and even designing buildings.