Spring: If your first question is whether, in acquiring works for the BM, I make any qualitative distinction between artists of African heritage working outside the continent and those currently based in Africa, the answer is no. Such distinctions may or may not be evident in their work, but it is the quality of that work which is the guiding principle.

As to the matter of fakes, at present all the works in the BM’s collection of contemporary African art are acquired direct from the artists, though sometimes through an intermediary such as the October Gallery. In years to come the only structure which can be put in place to deal with fakes in the secondary market will be connoisseurship, just as it is in any other field of verifying the authorship of a work of art.

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