Research Handbook on Art and Law
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Research Handbook on Art and Law

Edited by Jani McCutcheon and Fiona McGaughey

Featuring international contributions from leading and emerging scholars, this innovative Research Handbook presents a panoramic view of how law sees visual art, and how visual art sees law. It resists the conventional approach to art and law as inherently dissonant – one a discipline preoccupied with rationality, certainty and objectivity; the other a creative enterprise ensconced in the imaginary and inviting multiple, unique and subjective interpretations. Blending these two distinct disciplines, this unique Research Handbook bridges the gap between art and law.
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Chapter 10: Preventing art forgery and fraud through emerging technology: application of a regulatory pluralism model

Jade Lindley


Art forgeries and fraud have occurred as long as art has been profitable. Art forgers study the methods of the masters to ensure that any traces marking their work as a copy are indiscernible to the most experienced expert authenticators. Galleries, auction houses and dealers often use detection technology to verify artworks in an attempt to separate the masterpieces from the fakes. In order to outsmart this technology, sophisticated criminals may alter their artistic modus operandi to mimic the age and techniques of the originals. Many scientific authentication tests are decades old and incremental improvements have been slow, enabling forgers to study the science to avoid interception. However, emerging technologies using scientific breakthroughs increasingly are able to differentiate between artists' methods and techniques to determine the authenticity of a work, supporting human experts’ opinions. Argued from the perspective of regulatory pluralism, this chapter examines emerging technologies and their usefulness in shifting the power against the criminals.

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