‘One third of art market is fake’: Art detective reveals how terrorists, mafia profit from it

As the ‘Indiana Jones of Lost Art’, Arthur Brand usually finds himself on the crossroads of the illicit art commerce and a shadowy felony underground. The art detective joined RT’s SophieCo to disclose the secrets and techniques of his commerce.

From the luxurious galleries of the European art scene to the farthest reaches of the Afghan Hindu Kush, Brand is on the hunt for stolen treasures. His work can sound a lot like a spy thriller, a world of clandestine conferences and solid paperwork.

Working with criminals, of course, has its dangers.

“Sometimes you get threats,” he mentioned, “I have to be cautious.”

The mafia and different felony teams aren’t the one gamers dealing in stolen paintings; terrorist militants have entered the black market as properly – what the CIA calls the world’s fourth largest unlawful enterprise. The unlikely archeologists use the proceeds from stolen relics to finance their terror assaults.

“They call it blood antiques,” Brand mentioned. “Groups like the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS, they conquer a certain area which is full of treasures,” forging paperwork and promoting the artifacts in authorized markets.

“Museums have bought [them] in the past” he mentioned. “You can find them at auction houses. You can find them at art deals.”

Brand famous that along with the stolen masterpieces, faux ones are making the rounds as properly.

“It’s absolutely more common than rare,” he mentioned. “Thirty percent on the art market is fake. Either it’s complete fake or they have messed with it.”

Watch the total interview here.