Article about the chemical code that is being trialled in Western Australia which protects the authenticity of artworks:

A secret chemical code has been painted into an Aboriginal art work in a world-first step to outwit forgers who prey on indigenous artists.

The process, in which a chemical “fingerprint” was mixed into commercial ochres used by Kimberley artist Freddie Timms, was created by Rachel Green, a forensic science researcher at the University of Western Australia.

The university hopes it will revolutionise the indigenous art world, where millions of dollars of revenue are leached away every year by the production of fraudulent works.

Mr Timms, 66, from Police Hole on Bedford Downs Station south-west of Turkey Creek, is relieved that his work, which has been targeted by fakers in Melbourne or Sydney, can now be protected.

“Oh yeah, I feel happy now,” Mr Timms said.

“Make me feel better, you know, with that chemical.”