In 2010, four exhibitions were pre-selected for the Annette Giacometti Prize, all of them raising public awareness about the problem of fakes and forgeries. Two large London museums and one large American museum were nominated, along with one small, southern campus museum, UL's own Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. UAM Director Mark Tullos, Jr. will travel to Paris for the May 16th award dinner at Le Restaurant UNESCO, part of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

These days, the counterfeiting of artworks is nothing less than an industry. Billion of euros supply this illicit trade, for the benefit of organized crime. The rise of the market and the development of Internet transactions are creating an increasing spread of counterfeit works. Artists and collectors are being sorely affected. Fakes are even finding their way into museums. It is urgent that measures be taken to protect the cultural heritage of future generations, to respect artists, and defend art lovers.

The Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti is launching the Annette Giacometti Prize for the rights of artworks and artists, in order to encourage those who are doing their utmost to make citizens aware of this cause.

Annette Giacometti Prize
To reward an exhibition, a book, an article, a website, a university dissertation, a documentary film, and any other initiative, anywhere in the world, that has promoted the rights of artworks and artists.  The Prize is a €10,000 (~$15,000) grant to encourage the execution of an individual or collective project, of any kind, helping to draw public attention to the counterfeiting of artworks and the damage it causes.


The National Gallery, London
Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries
30 June to 12 September 2010
An exhibition illustrating the different aspects of scientific research on 40 major works in the museum. The use of sophisticated apparatus (infrared electronic microscope, X-rays, spectrum analysis) reveals the transformations undergone by the works over time and sometimes raises questions about authenticity and attribution.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries
21 Nov. 2010 to 10 April 2011
Exhibition about the work of DIA experts to establish the attribution of works in the museum and track down forgeries, some of them very old, which might have found their way into the collection.

The Victoria & Albert Museum, London
The Metropolitan Police Service’s Investigation of Fakes and Forgeries
23 January to 21 February 2010
Exhibition in partnership with Scotland Yard, which reveals the methods of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Art and Antique Unit for detecting and preventing forgeries of works of art. Illustrated by old and contemporary cases of counterfeit works, the exhibition analyses the consequences for society of these increasingly sophisticated fakes and forgeries.

Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Lafayette, Louisiana
Say It Isn’t Faux!
14 January to 30 April 2011
In partnership with the IFAR (International Foundation for Art Research). Educational exhibition about the history of counterfeit works of art and the challenges that this activity represents for museums, researchers, and collectors.

About Annette Giacometti
Annette Arm met Alberto Giacometti—a refugee in Switzerland—during the Second World War.  She later joined him in Paris, and they were married in 1949. As they had no children, Annette became the sole usufructuary of her husband’s rights and copyright, and was entrusted with the task of organizing the management and protection of her husband’s work.

She immediately prepared a Catalogue raisonné of her husband’s work, gathered documentation and information about how his works were made and their location.  She embarked on a fight against the counterfeiting of her husband’s works, working tirelessly to have the ever-growing number of fakes seized.

After her death, The Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti was created in 2003. Its aim is to protect, disseminate and spread the influence of Alberto Giacometti’s work. The Foundation is actively involved in preventing the traffic of fake and counterfeit works of art.

From 1966 until her death in 1993, Annette Giacometti devoted her whole life to the defense of her husband's œuvre, never speaking to the media. This prize was created as a tribute to her fight.

2011.05.23 Addendum:  The prize was awarded to the Victoria & Albert Museum.  For the press release, click here.

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