Monday, 28 January 2008

'Artful Codger' spared jail over counterfeit art | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

I suppose it is because we all like to watch the Antiques Road Show - which now has at least three national variations on our tv - Canadian, US and still the original and best, UK.

An old guy in a wheelchair pops up at a museum with an object and a provenance. He is old and plausible. And he gets away with it for years - and arguably has got away with it again.

Of course fraud and forgery are wrong. But so is the ridiculous chase for unearned profits that the collector's market has become. These are people who do not buy things because they like them, or find them interesting, but hope that they have picked up something undervalued that they can flip for a huge profit. Every yard sale has people sniffing around hoping for a find they will offer a dollar or two for in the hope it will prove to be worth far more. But people caught out by their greed and cupidity do not deserve our pity.

And it is hard not to laugh at experts taken in by a clay model darkened with tea to look old.

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