Senators search for solutions to counterfeit Indian art

jewelry-fraud

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Efforts to prevent the sale of counterfeit tribal art and jewelry will be the focus of testimony as two U.S. senators hold a field hearing in New Mexico about protecting legitimate American Indian artists and markets from fraudulent goods.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich plan to gather suggestions Friday from top federal officials responsible for enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

The act makes it a crime to falsely market and sell art as Native American-made when it is not.

Calls to modernize enforcement provisions have been spurred by revelations about the spread of fake Indian art.

Federal prosecutors in New Mexico are preparing for trial in an ambitious investigation that traced falsified Native American art from the Philippines to galleries across the United States.