We’ve been hearing a lot about fake news lately, but fake art is pretty big a problem, too. It’s soooo big, in fact, that Sotheby’s has decided to create its own forensic unit to help spot fraudulent artworks. The famed auction house said today it has acquired the Massachusetts-based laboratory Orion Analytical and will fold the firm into a newly created Scientific Research Department. Orion’s owner, art-fraud specialist James Martin, will lead the department as Sotheby’s director of scientific research, adding a more substantial investigative layer to Sotheby’s attribution and validation process.
Martin, who has worked with Sotheby’s for two decades, uses high-tech methods like technical imaging and magnified visual inspection to spot anomalies in artworks that could call their authenticity into question. You can read more about his background here.