Moroccan authorities are set to introduce stringent laws to combat the surge in art forgeries within its burgeoning art market. With plans to bolster penalties and refine regulations, officials aim to safeguard the integrity of a multimillion-dollar industry poised for further growth.
The nation’s chief prosecutor recently initiated a series of high-level meetings with the Ministry of Culture and the National Foundation of Museums. These discussions focus on implementing robust measures to enhance policing and detection of counterfeit paintings and artworks, including imposing stricter penalties and tightening oversight of auction houses.
Mehdi Ben Said, Morocco’s Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication, emphasized the urgent need to address this pressing issue, highlighting the increasing export of Moroccan paintings abroad. To maintain the authenticity of the art business, he stressed the importance of combatting forgery.
Valued at approximately $2.5 million, Morocco’s art market is witnessing a surge in the popularity of paintings, particularly across the Middle East, notably in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. This move aligns Morocco with a global trend of cracking down on art forgeries, with countries like the United States intensifying efforts through specialized teams such as the FBI’s art crime unit, which targeted forgeries linked to renowned painter Jean-Michel Basquiat in 2023.