Like an odd echo in the song of civilisation, fakes have attended every great artistic achievement: the marble masterpieces of Greek sculptors, the epic literature of the Celts, the shimmering beauty of rococo music, the bold visions of twentieth-century painters, from Phidias to Picasso, Cicero to Shakespeare, no work of genius has been immune from counterfeiting.
Such is the craving to own a rare work of art that forgeries have found their way into most of the world's museums and trimmed the wallets of countless knowledgeable, but not infallible, collectors. Nor have forgers confined themselves to the arts.
In their cunning appeal to the collecting instinct, they have dangled bait ranging from a concocted copy of America's Declaration of Independence to a set of startling diaries that Hitler never wrote.
Series: Curious & unusual facts
Number Of Pages: 151
Published: 18th March 2004
Dimensions (cm): 27.6 x 21.3 x 4.400
Weight (kg): 1.023