Pastor Indicted For Attempting to Sell Fake Damien Hirst Painting at Sotheby’s


An imitation spin painting rejected by Sotheby’s. (Courtesy the office of the Manhattan district attorney)

Kevin Sutherland, the Florida pastor who was arrested last month for allegedly attempting to sell counterfeit work by artist Damien Hirst, has been indicted, according to an announcement today from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. The defendant was charged with attempted grand larceny in the second degree after bringing a piece he claimed was a spin painting by Mr. Hirst to Sotheby’s. The auction house determined that the signature on the back of the work, which would have been worth thousands of dollars if authentic, did not match that of the artist. Mr. Sutherland also reportedly attempted to sell counterfeit works to an undercover detective.

In his statement, Mr. Vance said:

“Over just the last three years, my Office has prosecuted the thefts of valuable paintings, including pieces by Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet and Fernand Leger, as well as a multi-million dollar art fraud scheme. New York’s art scene has long been an important part of the city’s culture and economy, and my Office will continue to rigorously protect the integrity of our city’s art market.”