Fake Art Harms Culture

It is currently not illegal to sell fake Aboriginal style souvenirs as long as the product says where it was made. Recent research conducted by the Indigenous Art Code found that 80% of Indigenous souvenirs in tourist shops are fakes. 

Above: The House of Representatives Indigenous Affairs Committee Chair Ms Melissa Price MP discusses the new inquiry into inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia.

Parliamentary Inquiry

The Arts Law Centre of Australia, the Indigenous Art Code and Copyright Agency launched their Fake Art Harms Culture campaign in August 2016. The campaign calls for the Government to tackle the problem of fake ‘Indigenous’ arts and craft being sold in Australia, harming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and incomes.

On 10 August 2017 the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs announced an inquiry into the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia. The inquiry was referred by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion.

NAVA's Executive Director, Esther Anatolitis, appeared before the parliamentary inquiry in Sydney on Tuesday 6 March 2018. Click here to read the transcript of the hearing from the Parliament of Australia.

Digital Labelling Pilot

NAVA welcomes the announcement by Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield that the Australian Government will support a digital labelling pilot to support clear identification of authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks.

In the media

Gina Fairley Government invests $150,000 into digital labeling to combat fake Aboriginal art ArtsHub 21 June 18

Nakari Thorpe Katter 'serves notice' on parties over fake Aboriginal art, NITV, 18 June 18

Liz Little Bali’s fake 'Made in Australia' boomerangs and didgeridoos robbing artists of a living 18 June 18

Peter Devlin 'It's not their culture to sell': The didgeridoo scam conning Australians out of their hard-earned cash and infuriating Aboriginal communities Daily Mail  15 June 2018

Stephen Stockwell 'A bloody lot' of fake Indigenous art is being sold. Here's how you can spot it 31 May 2018

Calls to combat fake Aboriginal artSBS News 1 May 2018

Karen Michelmore Calls to ban 'hurtful' sale of fake Indigenous art ABC 10 April 2018

Kelsey Munro Consumer watchdog cracks down on sale of 18,000 fake Indigenous objects The Guardian 22 March 2018

The ACCC takes 'fake' Aboriginal art to Court ArtsHub 23 March 18

Jessica Hobbs The $200m industry of cheap fakes ripping off Indigenous artists 24 March 18

Frank Robson Dead heart: the booming trade in fake Indigenous art Sydney Morning Herald 8 Dec 2017

Stephanie Peatling Indigenous art groups call for crackdown on 'fake art' 25 Nov 2017

Janet Howie, Albury conference learns value of Indigenous Art Code, The Border Mail, 14 Sept 17

Fake Aboriginal art Bill boomerangs back into Parliament, NITV, 12 Sept 17

James Elton-Pym, Calls for a crackdown on ‘knockoff’ Aboriginal souvenirs made in China and Bali, NITV, 22 Aug 17

Helen Davidson, Misappropriation of Aboriginal art, The Guardian, 14 Aug 17

Angela Heathcote, Fake Indigenous art and the Commonwealth Games, Australian Geographic, 14 Jul 17

Louise Allingham, Inquiry into fake Indigenous art, The West Australian, 11 Aug 17

Corporate ‘fake art’ profiting off Aboriginal art, GreenLeft Weekly, 11 Aug 17

Helen Davidson, Australia's fake art and tourist tack: Indigenous artists fight back, The Guardian, 9 Aug Neda Vanovac, Indigenous artists battle mass-produced fakes, call for protection for their intellectual property, ABC New, 9 Aug 17

UN Uses Social Media to Raise Awareness of Indigenous Struggles, Telesur, 9 Aug 17

Corporate 'Fake Art' Profits off Australia's Indigenous Culture, Telesur, 9 Aug 17

Gina Fairley, War declared on fake Indigenous art, ArtsHub, 8 Aug 17

Jens Korff, Aboriginal art authenticity, Creative Spirit, 11 Jul 17

Francis Tapim, Call for tough penalties for fake Aboriginal-style souvenirs during Commonwealth Games, ABC News, 9 Jul 17

Tom Lodewyke, Lawyers call for legislative protection for Indigenous artists, Lawyers Weekly, 23 Jun 17

Eliza Buzacott-Speer, Chanel boomerang prompts Bob Katter to renew calls for protection of Aboriginal artists, ABC News, 18 May 17

Andreas Illmer, Ridicule and condemnation for Chanel's $1,500 boomerang, BBC News, 16 May 17

Johnny Lieu, Chanel's $1,930 boomerang rip-off is wrong on so many levels, Mashable, 16 May 17

Abigail Dawson, ‘Boomerangs that can go back to Bali’: Behaviour Change Partners creates campaign to protect authentic Indigenous art, Mumbrella, 9 May 17

Jeremy Eccles, Katter’s Law, Aboriginal Art Directory, 14 Feb 17

MP plans to curb fake Aboriginal art sales, SBS News, 13 Feb 17

Casey Briggs, Bob Katter plans legislation to stop sale of fake Indigenous art, ABC News, 22 Jan 17

Daniel Bateman, Bob Katter declares war on “fake” indigenous artwork, The Cairns Post, 20 Jan 17

Allan Clarke, Bob Katter Declares War On Asian Boomerangs And Fake Aboriginal Art, BuzzFeed News, 20 Jan 17

Karen Michelmore, Indigenous arts community lobby Government to make it illegal to sell fake Aboriginal-style souvenirs, ANC News, 17 Jan 17

Rico Adjrun, Indigenous art: How fake works disrupt the market and disempower local artists, AWAYE ABC RN, 5 Oct 16