What Is Counterfeit Art?

Art counterfeiting is the act of creating, using and selling fake art (not the original work of someone else). Since time immemorial, art has been one of the most profitable businesses in the world. Many took advantage of the situation by copying works of art from others to benefit from them. However, advanced technology has made it easier to know what is false and what is original in the art world. Art counterfeiting dates back to around 2000 years ago, when the Romans made copies of the Greek arts.

Counterfeit art

To date, around 20% of all works of art are fake. Three known types of forgers include the one who creates the fake piece, the one who discovers a work of art and tries to change its meaning to increase its price value, and the one who sells a false copy in a way that suggests original art. Since then, two methods have been used to detect art counterfeiting, digital authentication and forensic authentication.

The most famous Forger Art in history

Throughout history, many art fakes have occurred. Michelangelo copied a Roman sculpture creating a work of art depicting Eros sleeping in 1496. A German named Reinhold Vasters was a goldsmith. He was a contractor to Franz Bock and spent time reproducing various drawings. In 1970 (60 years after his death) his fake was discovered. Elmyr de Hory was also one of the most infamous forgers of all time. He made the fake pieces 1000. Wolfgang Beltracchi was named the “Forger of the century” after making countless fake pieces (out of 1000-1300). He was arrested in 2010 and imprisoned in 2011 but released two years later. Yves Chaudron simulated the art of Mona Lisa in 1911. He made six copies and sold it to the Americans for $ 330,000 each. John Myatt was accused of committing the “greatest artistic scam of the 20th century” after simulating more than 200 works with the help of John Drewe. He was sentenced to four months in prison in 1998.

Some recent fakes

An accident occurred at the State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, where pieces of art considered original were fake. They were copies made by Alexander Nikolaevich and Victor Ufimtsev. Lee Ufan, a star of South Korean art, has made about thirteen counterfeit works. A coup of $ 250 million was committed in Ankara (museum of sculpture and Turkish art) from 2005-2009. Some workers of the hall stole 300 copies of the original work and made false copies. The case was fortunately resolved in 2014.

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