Next time you go to a museum, be warned that a growing number of museums are now announcing that some of their collections are…fakes. And in some cases, some museums are boasting about their fraudulent artifacts.
For example, the Ōtsuka Museum of Art in Japan proudly says that it doesn’t have a single original in its collection! The museum holds over 1,000 replicas of famous masterpieces from all over the world, which range from pieces of antiquity to modern art. Claude Monet, Diego Velázquez, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Leonardo da Vinci are all there. The museum even has a full-size reproduction of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel!
In Austria, there’s a museum that doesn’t hide anything. The Museum of Art Fakes is full of forgeries. For the entrance fee of six euros, you will find look-alikes of world famous masterpieces from Marc Chagall, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. And there are also great stories about how the forgeries were made.
Are the museums legal? As long as they fully disclose the fakes, the answer is yes.
Ōtsuka Museum of Art,
Photo Credit: Kzaral