Like many of you, I’m a big fan of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. It’s informative, stylishly presented and is not overly obssessed with money and profit – unlike many other TV antiques programmes. People’s heirlooms and treasured collections are lovingly brought to the filming location for a respectful and accurate appraisal – before being taken home again.
It’s fairly rare that any items are found to be fakes – and even rarer that they are shown on television.
Not so in China, however.
Beijing TV’s new series, Collector’s World, is just like the Antiques Roadshow – up to the point where the owners take their pieces home. If your item is judged to be a fake by the show’s panel of experts, then the programme’s host will wield his hammer, smashing the item.
I’ve written about fake antiques in China before and the scale of the problem is well known. It seems that aside from the obvious (if slightly malicious) entertainment value of Collector’s World, it does have a serious purpose – to raise awareness of the number of forgeries that are in circulation in China.
In this article in The Telegraph, the programme’s creator, Bian Yiwen, said that the programme is getting lots of positive feedback:
“We get a lot of feedback – people saying we are doing a good thing by smashing up the forgeries.”
I’m not sure how the viewers of Antiques Roadshow would take to this approach, though…