BOLTON’s master forger Shaun Greenhalgh made a rare public appearance as part of a national television programme about art fraud.

Greenhalgh was jailed for more than four years in 2007 for a huge catalogue of forgeries, including the Amarna Princess sculpture, which was sold to Bolton Council for more than £400,000 in 2003.

Greenhalgh created a multitude of fakes in his garden shed in Bromley Cross over a seventeen-year period and was helped by his elderly parents George and Olive to sell them to distinguished buyers including The Henry Moore Institute and auction house Sotheby’s.

Amongst his many creations were fake versions of paintings by Salford artist L.S. Lowry — and BBC programme Fake or Fortune asked him to cast his expert eye over a number of paintings to see if they were genuine Lowry works or not.

Speaking to host Fiona Bruce, Greenhalgh explained that he was just 15 years old when he first created and successfully sold a Lowry forgery.

Offering a rare insight into his methods, he said: “If you want to do a fake, you would stick to the actual colours (used by Lowry) so you didn’t have any kind of controversy.”

He added: “What I always found I had to do was to tick the right boxes in the experts' minds when they came to look at a painting.

“I thought, what are they actually looking for that says it’s genuine or it isn’t and I think if you find out what those triggers are and tick those boxes, they go further than most people might imagine — even relatively poor works.”

Greenhalgh was then asked to look at three pictures which were being investigated by the programme and pointed out which he believed to be genuine Lowry’s as well as pointing out warning signs that could mean certain pictures were fakes.

As well as Lowry, Greenhalgh also produced forgeries of Thomas Moran, Samuel Peplow and Barbara Hepworth.

But by far his most iconic scam and biggest sale came in 2003 was the creation of an alabaster sculpture of the Egyptian princess Amarna.

Greenhalgh’s father, George, who died last year, convinced the council it was 3,000 years old and depicted a relation of the Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamun, with the authority agreeing to fork out £440,000 for the sculpture.

After admitting fraud and money laundering at Bolton Crown Court in 2007, Greenhalgh was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

His parents were both given suspended sentences for their roles in the con.

The family also had assets of £404,250 confiscated by the court and they were ordered to pay £363,000 to Bolton Museum.

Fake or Fortune is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.