Fakes, Fortunes and Fraudsters: Unsolved Cases

November 07, 2015

“A true work of art is but a shadow of the divine” (Michelangelo).

If this lofty maxim is true, then a fake work of art must surely come from the netherworld. Born to deceive, the fake takes on a life of its own, especially after it is welcomed into museum collections and then admired and studied. And as art prices soar so do the dexterity and cunning employed by craftsmen and vendors, compounding a global problem. That the notorious case of the Greek kouros at the Getty Museum remains still unresolved, a marble sculpture purchased for nearly seven million in 1985, amply demonstrates the challenges that fakes pose to both art historians and scientists. This illustrated presentation examines a handful of unresolved cases, from India, Burma, and Cambodia, and suggests ways to spot fakes and practical steps to form a collection.


Dr. Donald M. Stadtner


Dr. Donald M. Stadtner was for many years an Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, after receiving his Ph.D. in Indian art from the University of California, Berkeley.

He is the author of numerous articles and two recent books, Ancient Pagan: Buddhist Plain of Merit and Sacred Sites of Burma: Myth and Folklore in an Evolving Spiritual Realm.  He co-curated an exhibition on Burmese Buddhist art for the Asia Society, New York, in 2015.

Saturday November 7th, 2015

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Room 1600
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street

RSVP: This event is free! 
Please reserve your spot

Light refreshments will be served


  • SFU David Lam Centre
  • The Canadian Society for Asian Arts