Art Forgery in Australia

Australia’s Four Corners has aired a piece on art forgery in Australia today titled “FAKE!“: 

Reporter Quentin McDermott tells how up to ten per cent of art that’s resold across Australia could be problematic. This crisis of confidence has led art lovers to demand that any fake unfairly traded should be destroyed or registered, to avoid it being traded again. 
It’s a practice as old as art itself. A gifted painter takes a major artwork and reproduces it, or a variation on it. No harm in that, provided it’s clear that it’s not the real thing. Unfortunately some of these paintings find their way into the mainstream art market. Right now it’s clear that certain individuals are prepared to place fakes for sale, making handsome profits.
Alone this would be of concern, but Four Corners reporter Quentin McDermott investigates the role of gallery owners in the marketing and sale of fakes. It’s now clear that, either knowingly or unknowingly, a number of high profile gallery owners have been responsible for selling paintings worth thousands of dollars, with a question mark over their authenticity.
 . . .  

None of this is good news for art lovers. It’s now clear consumers have to be very careful who they deal with, what kind of paintings they buy and who has authenticated them.
This crisis of confidence has led some artists to demand any work sold under false pretences to be destroyed. Others believe there should be an art register of forged works, once they are detected, that could then be accessed by dealers and the general public.
“FAKE!” will be broadcast at 8.30pm on Monday 8 June on ABC1. It is replayed at 11.35pm on Tuesday 9 June.
Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

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