A special commission of more than 200 Chinese art experts was established here Saturday to combat the rising trade in fake works.
Zhang Xinjian, vice-director of the trading department of the Ministry of Culture (MOC), said the commission, supervised by the MOC, would evaluate art works for the public and advise on collections.
The commission has drawn members from government bodies in charge of public security, industry and commerce, science and technology, customs, legal services, and higher research institutes as well as art experts.
The commission would also organize exchange and training programs for collectors.
Zhang said 68 million Chinese were committed art collectors. In 2004, the trade in art works was estimated at 10 billion yuan (1.25 billion U.S. dollars).
However, Zhang said, the growing collectors market had given rise to the production and sale of fake works as well as many unlicensed dealers.
"We must take effective measures and provide market-oriented services to ensure the long-term and sound development of the market," Zhang said.
Vice-director of the commission Wang Lijun said he had seen many fakes: "I fear our descendants will not enjoy genuine artistic treasures."
Wang said the Chinese market was still in its fledgling stages, lacking the appropriate laws and supervision, warning the growing number of uneducated collectors could over-inflate the market.
His own investigations showed jade, painting and calligraphy, chinaware and bronze were the four most commonly counterfeited classes of items.
The commission will set up eight sub-commissions, each covering a specific medium or offering a specific service involving painting and calligraphy, jade and jewellery, metalwork, chinaware, technical testing, legal services and market consultation.
Wang said most Chinese experts are optimistic about the market, but call for the legislation to regulate the market laws as soon as possible.
Zhang Xinjian said the commission would ensure expert and authorized evaluations, and identify leading artists and works.
The commission's official website -- www.365ccm.com -- was also launched on Saturday.