Questions and Answers
Who founded the museum?
The museum was founded on 17 November 2005 by Diane Grobe and Christian Rastner. It is privately run and financed by them, and unfortunately does not receive any subsidies, grants or support from the City of Vienna.
What was the intention of this museum?
An encounter with the famous art forger Edgar Mrugalla aroused the passionate interest in spectacular art fraud and the desire to collect counterfeits and stories regarding this theme. The idea to make the collection available to the public and thus to offer interested visitors an exciting and sometimes bizarre insight into the world of art fraud, came about in 2004 and was then implemented in 2005.
Genuine or counterfeit?
We are a "real" Counterfeiters Museum! Again and again the terms copy and counterfeit are mistaken or misused. Painters like to label their copies as "genuine fakes" or adorn themselves with the "title" counterfeiters to demand more money because this sounds interesting. There are exhibitions and galleries which offer their copies as counterfeits or designate themselves also as counterfeiters museum in order to attract interested parties.
But copies are primarily no fakes! We clarify, show "genuine fakes" and report about "real counterfeiters". We explain what is and is not allowed in art business, which dirty tricks are used in the art market and what exciting stories are hidden behind the exhibits.
How big is the museum and how much time do I need for a visit?
The museum is about 150m² in size, currently contains about 80 exhibits and the collection is constantly growing. One should schedule at least 20-30 minutes for a visit because, among other things, the provided museum guide offers a variety of exciting mysteries about the counterfeiters and fakes. Thus it happens often that visitors spend a whole day at the museum.
Is the museum barrier-free and suitable for wheelchairs?
Unfortunately no. There are five steps up to the top entrance and museum shop area and 16 steps curved down into the museum.
When and how are guided tours provided?
Guided tours can be booked only specifically, but you can, as individual (or small group), join an already booked guided tour. Dates and times can be inquired by phone or mail. Currently, we offer guided tours only in German. The guided tours are rather entertaining - laughing is allowed and even desired. Art knowledge or special interest in art is not required.
Can one visit the Museum without a guide?
Printed guides are available to visitors in 6 different languages telling the most important stories of the shown counterfeits and their forgers. Since the museum also has a small library, you can, if you have time and desire, read even more interesting stuff about the world of art forgery.
Why is there no audio guide?
We are a small privately funded museum with fair ticket prices. Audio guides cost a lot and the speakers who would have to read the translations in 6 different languages in a recording studio would cost even more. That we can, unfortunately, not afford.
Can I buy fakes?
No, you cannot buy fakes. But you can order copies (Fakes are no copies!). Some are readily available in the museum shop. Should you have any special requests, we will gladly advise you. All copies will be painted as the originals. Completion takes 6-8 weeks.
Do you also show money counterfeits, faked stamps or brand products?
Unfortunately no. We are specialized in art forgeries. In addition, private museums are not allowed to possess and exhibit fake branded goods (in violation of the Copyright laws).
Can I come to you, if I want to know if my picture is an original and what is it worth?
Unfortunately no. But you can, in principle, contact any auction house. Reputable auction houses provide free advice and can tell you what the object is worth if you want to consign it in an auction. However, if the object is an interesting fake with a good history you can contact us anytime.