Jan 29, 2020

By Andy Johnson

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Art experts in both Switzerland and the U.S. are warning novice art collectors about a surge in the number of fake prints that are available on line.

In fact, authorities in Basel are prosecuting a local art expert who they say sold hundreds of fake prints that he passed off online as the work of Andy Warhol, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and others over 10 years.

In New York, the head of the legal department for the Artists Rights Society, which protects the intellectual property rights of artists and their estates, sends “take down” notices to websites almost every day.

The experts says since the dawn of the internet, the problem of phony art being sold has only grown because it is relatively easy to create, often difficult to detect and typically offered at prices low enough to attract undiscriminating novice buyers.

The most prevalent fake prints are those falsely attributed to Andy Warhol, but forgers have also brought fake Piccaso, Chagall, Dalí and Matisse prints to market.

The bottom line is “buyer beware.”

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