The authorities of New Zealand have now officially confirmed the not-so-authentic of a stolen Gottfried Lindauer Painting that has been listed on the dark web in 2017 bearing a price tag of $500,000. Although the listing turned out to be a scam, the whereabouts of the painting named Chief Ngatai-Raure have not yet identified. As per the law enforcement officials, the investigation is still underway. In the April of 2018, two 134 year old paintings by Gottfried Lindauer named “Chief Ngatai-Raure” and “Chieftainess Ngatai-Raure” were stolen when a van smashed into the window of the International Art Center in Auckland, New Zealand. Before the theft, the Gottfried Lindauer Paintings were due to be auctioned where the worth of the paintings were worth between 350,000-450,000 New Zealand Dollars or $250,000 to $300,000. Months after the incident took place, one of the stolen Gottfried Lindauer Paintings were spotted in one of the famous darknet markets, White Shadow offering it in a price of $500,000 price tag.
The seller of the Gottfried Lindauer Painting named “Diabolo” has claimed in the listing that the painting was created by a Bohemian painter Gottfried Lindauer and that it would be shipped anywhere in the world to the one bidding the highest. Furthermore, he stated that the artwork is 1005 genuine which was later placed in a Bitcoin auction having an addition featuring the “buy now” price. The Police in New Zealand released news supporting the claims that the painting in the listing was a definite scam. The detective in charge of the investigation, named Scott Beard stated that their conclusion was a result of the use of the new image-matching tools that has been developed aiming to spot the counterfeit or stolen artworks made available on the dark web. This is yet another case where the darknet is misused by criminal operating from behind the shadow of anonymity.