The Three Modiglianis

According to legend, when artist Amedeo Modigliani left Livorno, Italy in 1909, he dumped a number of sculptures in a canal, upset because they had been criticized by a friend. So in 1984, the city of Livorno decided to spend $35,000 to dredge the canal to see if they could find the lost works. They were delighted when three carved heads were fished out. Appraisers estimated them to be worth $1.5 million. But then three university students came forward and revealed they had made one of the heads — and had a videotape of its creation to prove it. Hopes that the other two heads were genuine were dashed when a local dockworker proved to be their creator.


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