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Paintings were of Britain, not Italy

September 23, 2003|From Associated Press

Few travelers would confuse the southern English port city of Portsmouth with the wonders of Venice and its canals.

But officials at London's Tate Britain art gallery acknowledged Monday that, for more than 30 years, they have mistakenly believed that two studies of the English town by the British painter J.M.W. Turner were views of lagoons that fringe the Italian city.

Ian Warrell, curator of a current exhibition titled "Turner and Venice," said the works, painted in the 1840s, were wrongly classified in the 1960s when they were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and became grouped with other Turner paintings of Venice.

From Associated Press

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