The Real Thing

High-Tech Projects Aim to Ensure Art Forgeries Can't Blend In

A high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse has the art world scrambling. Last October, Sotheby's realized a painting it had sold years earlier for £8.4 million was a fake. It wasn't the first prestigious organization to fall victim to fraud: Knoedler and Co., once one of the oldest art dealers in the U.S., closed its doors in 2011 after selling more than 30 forged works for over US$60 million. Some experts believe that between 30 percent and 50 percent of the art market is fake -- exact estimates are difficult, says Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights LLC, Washington, D.C., USA. One thing that is for sure: Major money is at stake. The art market was worth US$45 billion in 2016, according to the global TEFAF Art Market Report 2017.
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