In Brazil, the middle class progressively invest in art, and in China, ordinary wage-earners see themselves as affording artworks. On the shadier side, the art-for-everyone online market has created opportunities for forgers to the extent that contemporary artists consider counterfeiting their own work, and Chinese business men, reportedly, launder money through art purchases. Despite an increased interest in art, auction sales in the United States and China declined from a year ago. Major Latin American auction houses, however, realized more than a 50% increase since last year, private sales at Sotheby's and Christie's increased, and the Hong Kong art market continues to expand. In politics, Iraq made claims that half of a Jewish archive removed during the U.S. military intervention in 2003 has been smuggled to Israel along with other Iraqi antiquities. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology reached an agreement with Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism on an indefinite loan of material to Turkey and excavations in Gordion, central Turkey. In security, authorities in Egypt and Abu Dhabi foiled attempts to smuggle coins, and some but not all Gandhara artifacts seized in Karachi in July have been determined to be fakes.
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