You’ve spoken! In this occasional series, we highlight one of most popular articles among Fine Art Today readers. This week we revisit the amazing art detective challenge and television show taking place now in the UK.
If you were in a museum staring at a masterpiece that had actually been replaced with a fake, would you be able to tell? A new treasure hunt and television show in the UK is asking just that.
It’s being called “Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge,” and it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. In coordination with five national galleries in the United Kingdom — Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, and Manchester — seven masterpiece paintings (all by British painters) have been secretly removed from their galleries and replaced with fakes. Only the museum curators, production team, and hosts will know which paintings have been switched.
The show challenges the public of all ages and experience to locate the fakes in person at the museums or online. The prize for a correct identification? How about an appearance on the show’s finale and a chance to win a specially commissioned copy of one of the works to keep!
The challenge is an awesome way to generate interest in the arts as well as potentially boost patronage at the museums. Each episode of the show will delve into a particular period of British art, with special curatorial and art historian guests. Also included in the show are the contemporary artists who were asked to re-create the paintings from scratch.
The competition doesn’t appear to be limited to residents in the United Kingdom! To learn more, visit the competition webpage here.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.



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