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Is it real, or is it fake?

A new Surrey Museum exhibit looks at forgeries – from statues to software
Is this a genuine ancient Greek terra-cotta figurine from 330-200 B.C.?

The trilobite fossil (below) looks genuine, but is it a fake or is it the real thing? Is it 370 million years old, or man-made?

To find out, visit the Surrey Museum’s feature exhibition Fakes & Forgeries: Yesterday and Today, an interactive look at counterfeit, forgery and piracy.

The exhibit, on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, will be on display until May 24.

For centuries, forgeries of art and collectibles have plagued the world.

Today’s counterfeiters go far beyond the art market, creating all manner of phony consumer goods: Designer clothing, jewelry, electronic equipment, computer software, pharmaceuticals, and even food.

Fakes & Forgeries details a history of forgery around the world and provides handy tips to avoid being fooled in the future.

The exhibit showcases 115 real and fake objects, from fossils and Egyptian artifacts to household items and designer name brands.

Visitors are invited to figure out which objects are genuine and which are clever imitations –  and to discover the fascinating lengths forgers will take to hoodwink the unwary.

The exhibit includes a section on counterfeit currency and information about pirated computer software.

“Microsoft is thrilled to be able to contribute to this exciting and educational exhibit,” said Michael Eisen, Chief Legal Officer for Microsoft Canada. “For as long as art has been created and products have been made and distributed, the underworld of forgery and counterfeiting has existed.

“People are still as likely today to let the Trojan Horse through the gate as they were thousands of years ago.”

There is also a section on counterfeit currency provided by the Bank of Canada, as well as educational information about pirated software, courtesy of Microsoft Canada.

The Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Ave. Hours of operation are Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is sponsored by the Friends of the Surrey Museum. For more information, call 604-592-6956 or visit

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