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4 Forge and Export: The Trade in Fake Antiquities from China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores aspects of the manufacturing, smuggling, trading, and identification of fake Chinese antiques, while focusing on items originating from the region of South China. It recognizes that there are many different interpretations of the term "fake" in relation to pieces that are not genuine. Chinese antiques have increased in popularity on the international art market in recent decades and are often highly sought after by collectors and investors alike. The chapter focuses on fakes as a fourth category, which includes modern creations or reproductions of Chinese art, which masquerade as antiquities. It focuses exclusively on manufacture and sale of fakes. Southern China is amongst the world's hotspots for mass-produced works of art. Organized criminals have been increasingly diversifying their operations and are often involved in several criminal activities simultaneously. In fact, the trade in antiquities, be they real or fake, is part of highly organized criminal enterprise structures.

Keywords: Chinese antiques; Chinese art; criminal activities; fake antiquities; smuggling; trading



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