Gary Arseneau - Deception: Are These Really Rodins?


California Civil Code Statute Section 1738 defines "artist" as: "the person who creates a work of fine art." "Fine art" is defined as: "a painting, sculpture, drawing, work of graphic art (including etching, lithograph, silkscreen)." Section 1741 states: "This title shall apply to any fine art multiple when offered for sale or sold at wholesale or retail from one hundred dollars ($100) or more, exclusive of any frame. Section 1742 (b) states: "California law provides for disclosure in writing of information -- whether the multiple is a reproduction." These California statutes directly address galleries, dealers and artists and full and honest disclosure in the sale of their art or reproductions of their art if sold for $100 or more. (underline GA) 


§ 15.01. Full disclosure in the sale of certain visual art objects produced in multiples. "Article fifteen of the New York arts and cultural affairs law provides for disclosure in writing of certain information concerning multiples of prints and photographs when sold for more than one hundred dollars ($100) each, exclusive of any frame, and of sculpture when sold for more than fifteen hundred dollars, prior to effecting a sale of them. This law requires disclosure of such matters as the identity of the artist, the artist's signature, the medium, whether the multiple is a reproduction, the time when the multiple was produced, use of the master which produced the multiple, and the number of multiples in a 'limited edition.’ {underline GA} 

Under these state statutes, the failure to give full and honest disclosure to sculpture reproductions as "reproductions" ranges in potential penalties from "refund", "interest", "treble damages", "attorney fees", "expert witness fees" and "court costs" to much more serious consequences of law and the penalties they incur. 

Museums, cultural institutions, may not directly be named in these statutes but should museums in California, New York and around the world, much less in Canada, be held to a lessor standard of legal and ethical disclosure than galleries, artists and dealers? 


The United States Federal Trade Commission Policy Statement of Unfairness states: 

"A seller’s failure to present complex and technical data on his product may lessen a consumer’s ability to choose, for example, but may also reduce the initial price he must pay for the article.---Finally, the injury must be one which consumers could not reasonably have avoided." 



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