Fakes on display

Bolton Museum wants to exhibit the now infamous Amarma Princess to explore the role of fakes and forgeries in museum collections. [Link] It's an interesting story actually, because it appears that normal practice would be for the police to arrange for the offending object to be destroyed. And yet one could argue that, as one of most recognisable fakes in the world, thanks to the high profile of the associated court case, it remains a valid museum object, although for very different reasons than it originally (when it was believed to be the genuine article) embodied. For a start its display would question the authoritarian role of museums and their position in the cultural life of the nation. Perfect for the institution wanting to present to their audiences a more self-reflexive position. I remember the V&A doing something similar in the T.T. Tsui Gallery. It's a really interesting, and quite bold, step for museums to take, i.e. admit mistakes, mis-attributions, fallibility. And I'm all for it!


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