Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The Fake Ferrari: Thailand finesses the fine art of forgery

Who was it that said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Well, would someone please tell the Authentics Foundation, a London-based NGO who have just kicked up a shitstorm of world publicity with their first ‘global anti-counterfeit summit’ in Brussels.

I mention it not because I laughed so hard on reading model Yasmin Le Bon, who’s fronting the campaign, preach at the pauper on the street from her ivory tower. ("This is something that really affects me because I'm in the fashion business," she, someone who hasn’t payed for cosmetics or luxury items since shoulder pads and Duran Duran were cool, gushed).

No, I mention it because a Made in Thailand counterfeit, no less, was the guest of honour. And not just any old fake Rolex, or Gucci knock-off but a fake Ferrari 1967 P4, knocked together in a back street factory. Cue The Guardian: “Replicating the original in every visible detail, the car is a startling example of the genius for counterfeiting that is flourishing worldwide”.

Is this supposed to make Thailand look bad? I’ve long admired the Thais' inimitable knack for imitating things. And this, surely, is proof the country has, inbetween feckless coups and endless political squabblings, quietly been finessing the fine art that is forgery. Bravo. I, for one, look forward to the day when I can shunt my newly acquired fake Silom bounty – DVDS, shoes, tshirt, chiseled ladyboy– home in a Pontiac 2008 G6 convertible. Pray tell, Authentics Foundation, where do I order one?

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