Stopping ‘fakes’ a critical step towards recognition

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Stopping ‘fakes’ a critical step towards recognition

Genuine work on display at the recent National Indigenous Art Fair

Genuine work on display at the recent National Indigenous Art Fair

Soofia Tariq

Genuine work on display at the recent National Indigenous Art Fair

Soofia Tariq

Soofia Tariq

Genuine work on display at the recent National Indigenous Art Fair

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Indigenous artists may have had a significant win in their battle against “fakes”, but there are still many hurdles to clear before their work receives appropriate protection and recognition.

At the end of June, Birubi Art was slapped with a $2.3m fine for breaching Australian consumer law. The Queensland based company, which is now in liquidation, had promoted its art as genuine when in fact it had been made in Indonesia.

In a joint statement, the Indigenous Art Code, the Australian Copyright Agency and Indigenous Arts Law, agreed that the sale of fakes demeans “cultural heritage and deprives indigenous artists of economic opportunity.”


(Image/Creative Commons)

– John Ferguson