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Art Fraud in Australia is relatively minor compared to that of international art markets; however it is believed to account for at least 10 percent of the Australian art market. Art collecting and the acceptance of contemporary art as an investment have contributed to the upward trend in art crime over the last few decades, when private ownership has become more prevalent.

Deliberate Art Fraud is identified in three major forms: various forms of fraud, including forgery; theft and vandalism.
In the wider art market sophisticated paper trails are making it easier to track artwork sales and history, however many art crimes are not reported for various reasons including public museums not wanting to draw attention to the value or vulnerability of their holdings, in doing so putting their reputation and value of works at risk.
The theft, retention and the later re-release of signed and forged art work, is documented within the Australian market. Authentication is a process of assessing claims about identity; it involves reputation, ownership, relationships and truth. Improved accessibility of photo records and past sales histories, help to authenticate origins of artworks and provide evidence of originality.

Aboriginal art fraud is a complex issue of forgeries and “stolen Spirit”. For the aboriginals the unauthorized reproduction of indigenous work and “dreamtime” images breaks traditional values and cultural beliefs.

One of the most famous cases noted of art fraud in the 20th century was in Britain in the 1990’s. John Drewe and his accomplice, John Myatt went to extraordinary lengths to create “fakes” and to establish a paper trail to authenticate them. They infiltrated major institutions including the Tate Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Contemporary arts museum, to create a plausible paper trail for their “fakes”. If a gallery or auction house went to the literature to establish the existence of prior documentation relating to the production and past sales history, they were rewarded with the required documentation.

Identity requires history and context: for something to be deemed ‘real’, both need to be verifiable.
Van Gogh, Head of a Man.jpg

http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/ti170.pdf
Australian Institute of Criminology. Government site. Theft, frauds and fakes, indigenous art, money laundering, law enforcement, crime prevention.

http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0507/09-sloggett.php
Authentication and verification of artworks,
Paper trails, links to references and other texts.

http://www.anzsoc.org/conferences/1998/aarchapolk.pdf
Informative article outlining the major forms of art fraud in the Australian and International market, Reference section of related texts.

http://www.caslon.com.au/forgeryprofile5.htm#australia
Art fraud in Australia. Caslon Analytics profile: Forgery and Authenticity.

http://www.aic.gov.au/conferences/artcrime/sloggeta.pdf
Eric Hebborn. Verification, databases.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,20047612-5001031,00.html
Van Gogh ”Head of a Man”. Alleged Fake. National gallery of Victoria.

http://www.artwatch.org.uk/
http://www.artwatchinternational.org/
Art organization to protect the integrity of works of art from increasingly ambitious and injurious restoration/conservation treatments

http://www.aic.gov.au/conferences/artcrime/dayman.html
Government reference site Art crime : protecting art, protecting artists and protecting consumers.
Art crime : winners and losers, Fakes and frauds 1 and 2, Law enforcement issues, Theft, Legal issues in art crime : Australian and international, Aboriginal art : authenticity and the consumer, Aboriginal art : knowledge for consumers, Crime prevention.


Art crime : protecting art, protecting artists and protecting consumers.
Art crime : winners and losers, Fakes and frauds 1 and 2, Law enforcement issues, Theft, Legal issues in art crime : Australian and international, Aboriginal art : authenticity and the consumer, Aboriginal art : knowledge for consumers, Crime prevention.

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