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Fringe "benefit" from nuclear explosions

by JP Bill / June 28, 2008 11:10 PM PDT
Nuclear explosions could be key to spotting fake paintings

A Russian curator says she's developed a foolproof method of determining whether a piece of art was made before or after 1945 as a way of sniffing out fake paintings.

Elena Basner told The Art Newspaper that she has developed a method in collaboration with Russian scientists based on the idea that man-made nuclear explosions from the 1940s to 1960s released isotopes into the environment.

These isotopes, Caesium-137 and Strontium-90, permeated the earth's oil and plant life and ended up in works of art made in the post-war era because natural oils, usually flax/linseed, were used as binding agents for paints.

"I wanted to find something ironclad ? that couldn't be disputed, and this led me to approach scientists for ideas," said Basner.
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Collapse -
Weren't there...
by Angeline Booher / June 29, 2008 3:06 AM PDT

..... some fakes, or a fake or two, in the recent past that embarrassed some "experts" and/or prestigious galleries?

Fakers have used old canvases, mixed paints in the "old" way, copied brush strokes, et cetera with great skill.

This "nuclear age" testing may force them into new careers. Happy

Speakeasy Moderator

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You might be thinking...
by J. Vega / June 29, 2008 3:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Weren't there...

You might be thinking of Elmyr de Hory.

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