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Jean Senat Fleury

Duvalier Government Art Forgery Le Proces des Timbres: L'Affaire Audubon

An unfamiliar aspect of Baby Doc's corrupt rule has received little attention until now. Haitian watercolorist, Jean-Jacques Audubon, bird-life interpreter, became victim to a forgery when fraudulent postage stamps were circulated world-wide as his watercolors. A Haitian attorney and avid stamp collector, with a practiced eye, made the discovery. He notified Duvalier he doubted the stamps were Audubon's original watercolors.

Duvalier reluctantly held an open-court proceeding, and an expert witness gave testimony the stamps were the work of art forgers. Members of Duvalier's government pleaded guilty, convicted and incarcerated. Stamp collectors felt justice was done, and observers said the legal proceedings were an example of a fearless justice system.

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