As India struggles to re-establish its art market in the wake of the financial crisis, some call for government regulation to deal with the thorny issue of fakes:
In January this year, paintings by MF Hussain and Manjit Bawa were withdrawn from an art festival after their authenticity was questioned by the MF Hussain Foundation and businessman and art collector Harsh Goenka. And last week, the authenticity of some paintings that were to be auctioned in New Delhi by Bangalore-based auctioneer Bid & Hammer on Friday was challenged.
But while counterfeits are the inevitable byproduct in any art market, Parimoo’s remarks are disturbing and suggest the issue needs to be addressed immediately. Arun Vadehra, of Delhi’s Vadehra Art Gallery, while underplaying the size of the counterfeit market, agrees that it is nevertheless a menace that needs to be curbed.
He suggests the setting up of a regulatory body to oversee the sale of art works and another official committee to undertake valuation, might be the solution. He estimates the size of the Indian art market at $400 million and counterfeits, he says, would be an insignificant percentage of this.
But it needs to be nipped in the bud, he clarifies. Ashish Anand, director of Delhi Art Gallery, has also issued a statement saying it is high time a regulatory body was created for the regulation of the art industry in the wake of recent concerns regarding the trafficking of allegedly fake works by members of the art fraternity.
Counterfeits, controversies mar $400-mn worth Indian art market (Business Standard News)