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Fakes and forgeries: the art of deception

26 October 2004

Fakes and forgeries: the art of deception

The secrets behind some of the greatest shams of all time will be revealed at a lecture by a leading expert in detecting and analysing forgeries on Wednesday night (27 October).

English forensic paper historian and analyst, Peter Bower, will expose some of the world’s most audacious forgery attempts when he delivers Victoria University’s Third Annual McKenzie Lecture 2004: Fakes and forgeries: the art of deception. The lecture will be based on the investigations and discoveries made in various cases including the German forgery of British paper money during the Second World War, a group of supposedly ‘early 19th century’ watercolours, and the ‘work’ of the greatest banknote forger ever, Leon Warnerke. Mr Bower will also look back as far as the 18th Century, when the British Government forged Assignats, French Revolutionary money.

Mr Bower, who is sought after by museums, galleries, lawyers and private individuals around the world, will discuss the physical investigation of objects, the interpretation of those findings and the techniques used by the forgers. He will emphasise the importance of background research and collaboration between investigators.
Peter Bower’s recent work has included involvement in the re-discovery of a Michelangelo drawing and the analysis of the ‘Black Diaries’ of Sir Roger Casement, who was hanged for his involvement in the Irish Nationalist revolt in Dublin in 1916.

He is the author of Turner’s Papers 1787-1820 and Turner’s Later Papers 1820-1851, published to accompany exhibitions about paper-making history at Tate Britain. He is currently studying the papers used by 18th Century watercolourist Thomas Girtin and landscape artist John Constable.

The Third Annual McKenzie Lecture 2004 is held in honour of the late Professor Don McKenzie, who, in 1962, founded the Wai-te-ata Press at Victoria University. Professor McKenzie received an honorary doctorate from the Victoria University in 1997.

Fakes and forgeries: the art of deception Wednesday 27 October 2004, from 5:30pm National Library Auditorium, National Library of New Zealand Aitken Street entrance, reception to follow


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