A recent New York Times article describes the wild and lawless landscape of China's burgeoning art collecting scene. Massive demand from the country's newly wealthy, coupled with poor regulatory oversight, have lead to a staggering influx of forgeries. These expert fakes have created some comically bizarre scenarios:
"In one case, three years ago, an oil painting attributed to the 20th-century artist Xu Beihong, which sold at auction for more than $10 million, turned out to have been produced 30 years after the artist’s death by a student during a class exercise at one of China’s leading arts academies... Even more embarrassing was the government’s decision last July to close a private museum in Hebei because of suspicions that nearly everything in it — all 40,000 artifacts, including a Tang dynasty porcelain vase — were fake."