I cannot imagine having the level of expertise needed to identify a fake at a glance as seen in this prompt by Joni Green. I do not for one minute doubt that such expertise exists. I just can’t imagine how well you must know art or at the very least one piece of art in order to identify a fake like this.
Considering this painting in this prompt had been in the museum for decades it is entirely plausible that this level of expertise has more to do with the specific painting and not art in general. It could be a favorite painting of the character in the prompt. Maybe he is a regular at the museum and he is mostly interested in this specific painting. It could be something done by someone he knew or someone related to him. Or maybe the artist is someone he did a report on in school and came to love the art of.
Whatever the case, this character knew something was wrong and he made up his mind to figure out what it was.
Despite what I said above, I do think the man in the prompt is supposed to be an employee of the museum. He may or may not be knowledgable about art in general since this is a prized piece in the museum’s collection. It is entirely likely that he knows it so well for this reason alone. We know the piece of art has been in the museum for decades, but we don’t know how long he’s been around it. He still could have been around it quite a lot before coming to work there. Maybe even that piece was what got him interested in working them in general.
I’m a little worried about how the director might react to this definitely unwelcome news. No one wants to hear that someone stole from them, much less when it’s not their personal collection, but one that is their job to protect. Unless the director is in on the theft. Or maybe it’s not a theft. Maybe the painting was removed to get repaired or cleaned after something happened. Sometimes people do crazy stuff at museums regardless of the consequences to themselves.
What do you think happened to the pianting? Who has it and will he be able to get it back for the museum?