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Kirsha Kaechele admits she faked Picassos and other artworks at Tasmania's MONA

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Kirsha Kaechele with the supposed priceless work of art. Image / MONA

Three supposed priceless works of art that have hung in Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) for over three years have been revealed as fakes.

Curator Kirsha Kaechele, wife of MONA founder David Walsh, made the surprising confession about the Picasso hoax in a blog post on Wednesday.


Kaechele admitted to forging the artworks herself because she wanted pieces that matched the “monochrome” colour scheme of the museum’s Ladies Lounge.

The lounge was forced to close earlier this year after a complaint from a man who was refused entry.

To comply with the ruling from the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Kaechele moved the fake Picassos to a new exhibition within the female toilets.

A ‘Picasso’ artwork in its new location at MONA. Image / Supplied

“I’ve waited patiently for this day. Three years and seven months to be exact,” Kaechele wrote after receiving queries from a journalist and the Picasso Administration in France following the story.

She said she filled the lounge with “invaluable objects” framed in gold because “if men were to feel as excluded as possible, the lounge would need to display the most important artworks in the world”.

“Then there are the paintings. I knew they had to be ‘Picassos’. I am a tremendous fan of his work and hold it in the highest regard.”


“So I made the artworks, quite painstakingly, with my own hands … I told no one.”

She described her initial anxiety about the forgeries being discovered, especially when one painting was hung upside down on opening day.

“I waited for weeks. Nothing happened. I was sure it would blow up. But it didn’t.”

Kirsha Kaechele outside the Supreme Court. Image / Jesse Hunniford

Kaechele said she was “relieved” to finally confess, adding how she was “flattered that people believed my great-grandmother summered with Picasso at her Swiss chateau where he and my grandmother were lovers”.

Despite the hoax, Kaechele said all other acquisitions at MONA, including a “genuine collection of Picasso ceramics”, were authentic.

“How does one justify simultaneously showing real and faux Picassos?  … It’s complicated.”

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