FAKING IT TO THE STREETS

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Counterfeit remains a serious issue. Funded by the economics of corruption and the politics of piracy, it is a virus functioning in its own worldwide web, invading street markets, backyard warehouses and wholesale outlets from Lahore to London. Now, if you were to ask each person in a randomly selected group, to make a list of counterfeit items that are easily obtainable in their cities, each of those lists would no doubt include, the usual stock of DVDs distributed by desperate dealers, and music CDs pushed by pavement peddlers. On the other hand, the possibility of any list bearing references to Mercedes Benz automotive parts, Honda motorcycles, Toblerone chocolates, Johnny Walker Red, Staedtler pencils, Mont Blanc fountain pens, Panado tablets or Yamaha acoustic guitars, would be too ludicrous to even laugh at, unless, of course, you’ve been there and seen that. Welcome to a very unusual museum. No, it isn’t internationally unique, but it is the only one in Thailand and it’s definitely worth a visit. Established in 1989, the Tilleke & Gibbins Museum of Counterfeit Goods now has a collection of more than 3500 items arranged in 14 broad categories: clothing, footwear, watches and eyewear, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, pharmaceutical drugs, copyrighted works, food and household products, stationery and office supplies, alcohol and cigarettes, automotive parts, tools, electrical devices and miscellaneous products. Email: Bangkok@tillekeandgibbins.com