Forgers have been around since there have been things to forge; currency and art being the most sensationalized examples, but commercial goods make up the overwhelming bulk of forgeries. Recently, these types of forgeries have moved more into the mainstream and been accepted as part of modern culture. I find it compelling that we now willingly turn a blind eye to some forgeries (like the designer shoes pictured) because they appear as novelties, but we ignore the fact that billions of dollars (in merchandise and fake money as well as lost relics and works of art) are lost. Perhaps it is like a game: the forger vs. the world, with the goal to fool the masses.
All of these thoughts were brought to the fore while enjoying a book review of Jonathan Keats’ newest publication, “Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age”. Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, writes, “There are many books on art appreciation. Jonathon Keats has written the first one on art forgery appreciation.” I thought this an interesting study, but does writing a book about forgery allow it even more credence? Forgery constitutes between 5 and 7% percent of global trade. Do we really wish to further empower a practice that is not only illegal, but dangerous when it involves such items as medicines and pesticides? When counterfeit goods cost businesses around the world over $600 billion a year?
In this no-mans-land where I find myself, I see the novelty in the forged goods, but recognize the great problems that accompany forgery. Not only is there big money associated with forgery, but there is a matter of safety at hand (the FAA estimates that 2% of the airline parts are installed in planes are counterfeit) and the losses we face in art and culture. My favorite example of this in the cultural realm is that Jean Charles Millet was caught forging his famous grandfather’s (Jean-François Millet) paintings, the best part was his own defense, which stated that he sold his fakes only to Americans and Englishmen, and argued that he couldn’t be blamed for their ignorance.
With the world turning a blind-eye on these crimes, what can one do to guarantee that you are getting the real thing? Packaging is one highly efficient way to thwart counterfeiting and forgery, including the use of Intercept Technology Packaging.
Post by Albert Greenhut, Engineered Materials, Inc.
Intercept Technology Packaging products fit within a sustainability strategy because they are reusable, recyclable, do not contain or use volatile components (No VOCs, Not a VCI) and leave a smaller carbon footprint than most traditional protective packaging products.