Fake ticket scheme uncovered at Versailles
Source:The Art Newspaper Author:Victoria Stapley-Brown Date: 2016-10-14 Size:
Five employees of the Château of Versailles, aged 21 to 34, were caught……

Fake ticket scheme uncovered at Versailles

The Hall of Mirrors in the Chateau de Versailles

Five employees of the Château of Versailles, aged 21 to 34, were caught on Sunday, 9 October, selling fake entrance tickets to the former royal palace. They were charged with fraud and taken into police custody in the commune of Viroflay, Le Parisien reports. Two men and two women involved have admitted their roles in the scheme and were indicted on 11 October. Another man who has worked at the historic site seasonally for the past four years is suspected of being the leader and has been held in jail, but he has denied any responsibility.

For several months, the team allegedly distributed two types of fake tickets: real tickets that were re-used and counterfeit tickets, allowing access to the park and the mini-train, the newspaper reports, based on a source close to the investigation. A teller would give these fake tickets to visitors who paid in cash. Their accomplices would then let the visitors through the entry checkpoint. The scheme was uncovered by other workers who noticed that these fake tickets were not being put through the machines at the entrance, and a member of management called the police. “When he was arrested on Sunday, one of the suspects carried some 150 fake tickets on him, resold for around €10 each,” Le Parisien reports. A ticket just to the main palace and temporary exhibitions usually costs €15, while a ticket to the entire historic site and gardens costs €25.

It is estimated the team caused €250,000 in damages to the public institution since August, and investigators plan to broaden their search into the whole year of 2016. Last year, Versailles received more than 7 million visitors.

It is not the first time that a museum has been the victim of a counterfeit tickets. In 2010, a double ticketing scheme was uncovered at the museums of the city of Marseille. And in 2013, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London warned visitors to its David Bowie blockbuster of scalpers selling fake tickets. That same year, the Louvre found counterfeit tickets in the hands of foreign tourists.

[Editor] 张艳