The film F is for Fake tells the true story of an expert art forger called Elmyr de Hory (1906 – 1976) who made a fortune selling forged paintings to art galleries around the world.
This has got Philip thinking. ‘So, what’s the difference between a forged painting and an original?’ he wonders. ‘If a forgery is good enough to fool an expert, surely it’s as good a work of art as the original painting?’
But Phoebe is not convinced. ‘How can it be as good, Philip?’ she asks. ‘It’s just a copy. And anyway, it’s a deceitful copy, designed to mislead people. That can’t be a good work of art.’
‘But what if the forgery is perfect,’ persists Philip, ‘so that every atom is identical with the original. In that case it’s got to be as good a work of art.’
* * *
Phoebe is not convinced. But she is having trouble working out why. Can you help?
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