Morocco cracks down on art forgery to protect booming market

Tower of Koutoubia mosque by Winston Churchill at Christie's auction house in London, February 2021. / Ph. AFP
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Morocco is enacting tougher penalties to combat art forgery, aiming to shield its burgeoning multimillion-dollar art market, reported American news agency Associated Press (AP) on Monday.

Morocco's chief prosecutor began a series of meetings with the Ministry of Culture and National Foundation of Museums to refine detection and policing of forged paintings and artworks. Discussions also addressed extending prison sentences and improving auction house regulations.

Morocco's Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication, Mehdi Ben Said sees  the issue as a real threat to the sector. «Moroccan paintings are now exported abroad and to combat forgery, it is essential to clean this business», he warned.

Morocco's art market is valued at roughly $2.5 million, with growing demand for Moroccan paintings in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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