The trapdoor leading to Herring's basement prison.
Dermot Herring, whose groundbreaking pieces involved placing a chartered accountant in formaldehyde, has today been found to be a fake.
The true author of his work was revealed this week to be none other than his twin Colin Herring, whom Dermot apparently, 'kept chained in a basement for the past 15 years', the same period over which Herring's star first began to rise in the arts world.
Pale and traumatised from the experience, Colin stated to police and assembled press that, "Dermot threatened to put me in a formaldehyde bath if I didn't work for him like a slave."
Dermot’s (or rather, Colin's) work with people who donated their bodies to the Herring Trust, has become legendary, reputedly earning Dermot a fortune.
"Sometimes he would torture me by forcing me to watch him writhing naked on a bed of gold bullion," said Colin, speaking from a police safe house.
"When I first suggested the idea of placing different things in formaldehyde, he scoffed in my face, but we did it for a laugh. Next thing I knew, I was locked in the basement...it wasn't all bad, he let me have satellite TV."
Dermot has issued the following statement through his lawyer, Jacob Twist (of Bend, Twist and Pullem):
"While my client does not deny incarcerating his twin, he emphatically denies using threats to get him to work. As far as the gold bullion is concerned, that was a present from Sheik Ali Yuksak (for placing his 3rd wife in formaldehyde) and it has no bearing on this matter."
It is feared that the Herring 'masterpieces' will now seriously decrease in value.
"Who is this Colin?" spat Sheik Ali Yuksak. "Dermot I trusted, and now I hear that this Colin, this nobody, handled my 3rd wife's delicate parts?! Dermot partied with me and JZ on my yacht, he's like brother to me. A brother who took my gold bullion and did unspeakable things with it."
While the case continues, buyers of Herring art are reportedly trying to offload their pieces as fast as possible. An insider at Sotheby's told us, "People are finding it difficult to sell these pieces. 'A minor civic servant,' once valued at £3 million, sold yesterday for £2.50, and the owner was grateful to get that price. After all, it's hardly as if the local council will take it away with the recycling."