chapter  4
21 Pages

Case Studies on Art Fraud: European and Antipodean Perspectives

ByDuncan Chappell, Saskia Hufnagel

This chapter explores several contemporary cases of art fraud, to draw attention in particular to the problems of detecting, investigating and prosecuting this form of art crime. The problems we believe are not unique to any single nation or hemisphere although some jurisdictions seem better prepared than others in the way they manage cases of art fraud, often because they are located in places where such fraud appears to be both endemic and threatening to the burgeoning international market in art works of all types. Those trading in this market are especially sensitive to unanticipated fluctuations in the quality and price of the commodities they are buying and selling, often for huge sums of money. In the art marketplace, which at present remains largely free of any regulation, the risks of being snared by one of the fraudulent works of an artist like Beltracchi appear to be increasing, despite some law enforcement successes in capturing and punishing the forgers.