TF1 condemned for defamation because of a report on a “crook”

This Friday, the Paris court sentenced TF1 for defamation, after the broadcast in 2019 of a report in which the expert of the old masters, Eric Turquin, was presented as a “crook” in the words of his lawyer. Recognized by all French auction houses, Eric Turquin distinguished himself in 2014 for having attributed to the Italian master of chiaroscuro, Caravaggio, a canvas discovered by chance in an attic near Toulouse representing Judith decapitating Holofernes.

A press release in the next issue of Great reports

Following Friday’s court decision, the first French private channel was ordered to pay a fine of 1,000 euros and pay 5,000 euros in damages to Eric Turquin. TF1 must also broadcast a press release reporting on this court decision via a screen after the credits of the next issue of the show. Great reports where the expert had been defamed.

In February 2019, Eric Turquin was asked by the production company CAPATV, working for TF1, for a report on “the great discoveries of missing paintings”, following the authentication of Caravaggio’s canvas.

However, in November, the expert discovers that TF1 broadcast a report which is finally called “the trace of the forgers”, in which everything that had been shot about Caravaggio is edited and where “we pass M Turquin for a crook, ”explains his lawyer, Maître Hugot to AFP.

A Caravaggio estimated at more than 120 million euros

Contacted, Eric Turquin said he was “happy to have won” and criticized the production company CAPATV for its “lack of work” and its “lack of verification”. TF1, requested by AFP, did not comment on the court decision.

The painting, which appeared in the report, was to be auctioned but was finally sold by mutual agreement in June 2019. The buyer would be the American manager and collector Tomilson Hill. Some specialists dispute the attribution but a majority consider it an authentic Caravaggio, estimated at more than 120 million euros.

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