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In bid to fight art fraud, Sotheby's acquires forensic lab

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/5/2016 By ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — In a bid to fight fraud, Sotheby's is buying an art forensics firm whose founder once helped the auction house identify a $10 million painting as a fake.

Sotheby's announced the acquisition of Orion Analytical on Monday.

Sotheby's said Orion's founder, James Martin, will lead a new scientific research department at the auction house.

Part of his job will be to make sure the works Sotheby's sells are authentic.

The purchase of the Williamstown, Massachusetts-based company comes amid a number of recent art forgeries in the art world, including a supposed painting by Frans Hals that Sotheby's sold to an art collector for $10 million in 2011.

In March, the auction house declared the painting to be a fake and issued a refund following a technical analysis by Orion Analytical.

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