Thursday, May 07, 2020

Crude forgeries intercepted

A FLOOD OF FAKES: A Trove of Artifacts Inscribed With Gibberish Was Intercepted at Heathrow. They May Reveal an Alarming New Front in the War on Forgery. British Museum curators explain what makes the new wave of bogus antiquities different (Taylor Dafoe, artnet news).
A Border Force officer at Heathrow Airport discovered the hundreds of clay figurines, pots, and tablets covered in cuneiform script in a pair of metal trunks last July. Intercepted en route from Bahrain to a private address in the UK, the objects were sent to the British Museum for inspection. There, they were discovered to be fakes.

The striking thing about the discovery, says St John Simpson, a curator at the British Museum, is not the number of counterfeit relics. It’s the type.
The clay tablets were inscribed with "gibberish cuneiform."

In a roundabout way, it's good news that the antiquities "market is flooded with fakes." It means that real ancient artifacts are harder to get. As long as the fakes are of poor quality, they will only fool careless collectors.

Good-quality forgeries are another matter. They are truly dangerous.

It will be interesting to hear more about that "private address in the UK."

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