IT was the story that gripped the art world and for a few months, gripped the entire country and cast the spotlight on Bolton in the process.

Shaun Greenhalgh conned the strange and mysterious world of art for decades and in 2007 was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for his forgeries of paintings, sculptures and everything else he could copy during his illustrious career.

Now Shaun’s story is finding a whole new audience following the publication of his autobiography and the publisher of his book, says that it has been flying off the shelves.

A Forger’s Tale: Confessions of the Bolton Forger was penned by Shaun in prison and has been flying off the shelves since it was published in June.

His editor, Clare Drysdale spoke of the book’s success: “I always thought there would be huge interest in hearing Shaun’s incredible story from his perspective, and I’m delighted to say that British readers have agreed with me. Two weeks after publication we reprinted the book for the first time, and we’re still struggling to keep it in stock.

“It made the Evening Standard’s bestsellers list and has been riding high in the art books chart on Amazon since publication. And, really pleasingly, reviews from both the national press and readers on Amazon have been overwhelmingly positive.”

It is not hard to see why Shaun’s story has found resonance with the public once again, telling the story of a normal Bolton lad who had a gift for art and using illegal means he exploited it for all it was worth.

The book talks of his upbringing in the town, being born in June 1960 at 4.05pm. He was the sixth of seven children, and both of his parents, who were both also sentenced for their roles in his crimes, were also born in Bolton.

Shaun talks of his time at school, at the old school house in Eagley and says his time at Eagley Junior School was the ‘most enjoyable time of his early life’.

The book weaves throughout Mr Greenhalgh’s childhood, as he goes to Turton Comprehensive school and undertakes the ‘only formal lessons’ in art he ever has.

Throughout, Mr Greenhalgh’s affection for Bolton and his life there his clear.

However, during his teenage years Mr Greenhalgh travelled to Rome.

Speaking about his return to Bolton, he comments: “Bolton looked worse than I remembered it. Although I’d only been away a short time, I’d felt more at home in Rome and hadn’t thought once of my real home. The town seems so small and plain.”

Mr Greenhalgh conned the art world and experts of London with the help of his father from his shed in Bromley Cross and that shed was even recreated for an exhibition at the V and A Museum after his forgeries came to light.

He still resides in Bolton now, one of his most famous pieces was the Amarna Princess which his father sold to the Bolton Museum for £440,00 in 2003, based on an art style of Ancient Egypt.

However, Mr Greenhalgh’s forgeries came into contact with the museum ten years before this sale.

In 1993 he painted a watercolour supposedly by the painter ‘Thomas Moran’, an artist who like Mr Greenhalgh was born in Bolton.

Mr Greenhalgh intended to sell the painting at auction in London but took it to the Bolton Museum first as they had a few Morans and he thought they would give it the ‘thumbs up’.

The museum then got a grant and bought it for £10,000.

On this, Mr Greenhalgh says in the book: “It’s something I hugely regret. Bolton Museum has been one of my favourite places from my earliest memories.”

Both of Mr Greenhalgh’s parents have died in the years since their arrests but their fascinating tale will live on.