Fakes & Forgeries: Yesterday and Today

Exhibit on display from June 26 to October 18, 2019

Urn in the shape of a seated male. Royal Ontario Museum, HM 1430

Urn in the shape of a seated male. 
Royal Ontario Museum, HM 1430

Can you tell the true object from the fake? This interactive exhibition presents 115 real and fake objects that run the gamut from historical specimens and cultural artifacts to household items and designer name brands. Visitors of all ages are invited to guess which objects are real and which are clever fakes. Learn how to tell authentic pieces from sly forgeries and discover the fascinating lengths forgers will take to hoodwink the unwary.


This exhibit provides hints on how to tell the real from the fraudulent and provides the visitor with a chance to guess an authentic artifact or specimen from an almost identical forgery. Fakes and Forgeries features items from the Royal Ontario Museum’s collection, spanning the Museum’s dual mandate of Natural History and World Cultures.

Displays include modern knock-offs ranging from black market DVDs, to designer brand clothing and accessories, to counterfeit computer software, to counterfeiting currency and an array of counterfeit bank notes.

This exciting project has been made possible thanks to the exhibition’s Presenting Sponsor Microsoft Canada, Education Partner the Bank of Canada and in part through a contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

Download the exhibit poster.


Historical Forgeries

  • Egyptian Antiquities
  • Improving on Nature
  • Mystery in Mexico
  • Setting a Fine Table
  • Chinese Mysteries
  • Women from Ancient Greece
  • Fossils

Modern Fakes

  • Counterfeits Equal Theft
  • Really Good Deal?
  • Computer Software Piracy and Counterfeiting
  • Countering the Counterfeiters

Royal Ontario Museum

Presenting Sponsor | Microsoft

Educational Partner | Bank of Canada

Contributors | Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP

Government Partner | Canadian Heritage 


Funded by the Government of Canada.

Government of Canada

Fostering a Vision for Canada: The Diefenbaker Legacy

Fostering a Vision for Canada presents the life of the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker from his childhood through to the end of his tenure as the thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada. This exhibit illuminates the character and legacy of Mr. Diefenbaker, explains his achievements and challenges while in office from 1957-1963 and highlights his close connections with the University of Saskatchewan. It charts his dedication to human rights and equality throughout his career as a lawyer and his struggle to be elected into public office. Further, the exhibit features a number of notable artifacts, including personal belongings, campaign memorabilia, and gifts received throughout his political career.

The gallery also features two replica rooms that capture Canadian political life as it was during the latter 1950s and early 1960s. The Prime Minister’s Office depicts the East Block Office as it appeared during Diefenbaker’s tenure as Prime Minister. It features original and reproduction furniture, as well as personal items belonging to Diefenbaker. The Privy Council Chamber illustrates the cabinet meeting room, featuring replications of Confederation era furniture and original signed photographs of the first twelve Canadian Prime Ministers. The replica rooms were recently retrofitted with iPads, containing speech excerpts, room descriptions and a broad selection of historical photographs adding an interactive component for visitors.

This is an ongoing exhibit.

It is also possible to view the virtual exhibit here.