Experts develop new techniques to authenticate artworks

Bedford, 20 May 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA). Bonhams auction house and a team of researchers from Cranfield University are developing a new system of identifying fake Chinese artworks. Colin Sheaf, chairman of Bonhams Asia, explained that an increasing amount of Asian artworks are forged and that the Chinese counterfeit market has been booming for the past thirty years. While counterfeiters have almost perfected their techniques, experts and auction houses still use an outdated, forty year old method to date artworks.   Sheaf added that it is imperative that modern technology be used to authenticate artworks. Forensic scientists can often obtain important information from small fragments, such as the age of the object and where it was made.  Nevertheless, these techniques are rarely used to identify artworks as not only are they expensive, but they necessitate a sample, which can rarely be obtained without destroying the work in question. Bonhams and the University of Cranfield in Bedfordshire are thus developing a system which will facilitate authentication and could have an immense impact on the production of counterfeit...

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