Earlier this week Agency France Presse reported a story that was picked up by several rash art outlets and repeated without much thinking. The original story speculated that half of all art works on the market were fake based upon the fact that the lab, based in the Geneva Freeport sees a preponderance of works that don’t live up to their owner’s hopes.
Now, any sensible reader would have quickly spotted the selection bias in the 70-90 percent claim. Clearly under some pressure, the lab jumped at The Daily Beast’s giving them the opportunity to clarify:
Yann Walther, executive director of the Fine Arts Institute in Geneva, told The Daily Beast that the headline-grabbing claims should be treated with caution. “People who come to us often already have a question about the authenticity of the work,” he said. “So this does not mean that on the market, 70 to 90 percent of work is fake.”
Are Over Half the Works on the Art Market Really Fakes? (The Daily Beast)