Leading memorabilia experts have claimed that many of the items in the ‘Get Back’ Beatles exhibition at Trondheim’s Rockheim rock and pop museum are fakes. According to Frank Seltier, who has sold Beatles memorabilia for 25 years, most of the autographed pictures, guitars and album covers are “extremely bad forgeries”.
“The letters are completely different to how they should be. Some of the albums from the ’60s are signed with a felt-tipped pen. I’ve never seen signatures by The Beatles from that period using this,” Mr Seltier told Adresseavisen.
Roger Epperson, an American who also trades in Beatles memorabilia, agrees. “The shape of the signatures is nowhere near being correct. Some are written with an unsteady hand,” he told the newspaper. “Besides, Beatles autographs are easier to date, and many of the forgeries in the collection are from the wrong year in relation to when the record was released.”
The exhibition has been put on through Statoil’s Art Programme, with much of the autographed items provided by Statoil employee Einar Arne Iversen. He denies that the collection includes forgeries and says he trusts he sources.
“It would be terrible if it should prove that everything is a fake. This means I have taken a wrong step, which I find a little hard to believe,” Iversen said. “There is wealth of opinions about what is real or not. I have the impression that my contacts have been honest people.”
Iversen has now asked Frank Caiazzo, another Beatles expert, to verify whether or not the collection is genuine, adding that he will “apologise to all Beatles collectors worldwide” if anything turns out to be fake.
Writing in a statement, Rockheim said, “The authenticity of signatures is a complex field and we, together with Statoil’s Art Programme (that has produced the exhibition), will investigate whether assessments that have come forth have any firm basis and thus shed new light on the collection on display. We’re making no changes to our programme or exhibitions before we get a thorough clarification on the authenticity question – and will return with news on this as soon as we know more.”