Monday, June 09, 2008

"The past must be invented." - John Cage


Fakes were once a source of embarrassment for museums. But more recently, they have become objects of fascination. In 1990, the British Museum put its most famous examples on display, including a sarcophagus that once was thought to be from the sixth century but was actually made in the 19th century.

Some fakes grow so notorious that they have taken on a significance of their own, becoming part of counterfeit lore. In 1896, the Louvre was duped into buying a rare gold tiara that it believed was a Greek treasure from the third century B.C. A German archaeologist soon proved it was a forgery, made by a Russian craftsman only a few years before it was sold. Humiliated by the affair, the Louvre locked it away for decades until the museum allowed the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to feature the tiara in a 1997 exhibition on the Russian craftsman.

Crystal Skulls' Murky Tale

1 comment:

Jay said...

Piltdown Man :sadluv: