Smashed – Fake Murano Glass Rings

The island of Murano in Venice is world famous for its Murano glass and most visitors to Venice come away with at least a piece or two of Murano glass products as a souvenir of their Venice holidays.

Murano glass has been hand crafted by highly skilled Venetian artisans for more than 1,000 years and is highly regarded for its light weight and its wide range of attractive colours.

You don’t have to make a trip to Murano to buy its world-famous glass products. An encounter with these colourful glass is unavoidable.  All around Venice there are shops selling colourful glass pendants, glass jewelry, paperweights, ornaments, etc.

Like most visitors to Venice, I’ve bought pendants, necklaces and trinklets, etc. for friends and family during my trips to Venice. The question I now ask myself is – Were those beautiful Murano glass that I bought as gifts really from Murano?

According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report this week, Italian police have seized 11 million fake Murano glass objects that were being sold in stores in Venice as artisan Murano glass, even though most of them were made in China.

“Between glasses, keychains, small masks, necklaces, pendants and other similar products, the seized items were worth almost 13 million euros (16 million dollars),” the head of Venice’s Financial Police General Walter Manzon told AFP.”

According to the AFP report, Mr. Manzon believes about half of the glass products sold in and around
Venice under the Murano brand are not even made in Italy.

Three Italian companies were busted for the importation and sale of the products from China – two of these from the island of Murano itself. The companies would place Murano labels on the fake objects or mix them with legitimate goods.

The governor of Venice’s Veneto region, Luca Zaia said that the fraud perpetuated exploits cheap labour in countries like China and practises unfair competition.

So, Bravo to the Italian police and the Governor of Venice for their efforts to stamp out the fake products. How disheartening to bring home a souvenir from Venice only to find out later on that it was actually made in China!

1 Comment

  1. Comment by Nita

    Did you pay a LOT for the “Murano” items you bought in Venice? If not, then why even bother. It is the “beauty” of the glass that attracted you. The artistry. Who cares if artisans in the island of Murano did not make it?

    Also, it was the Chinese who taught Venetians the art of “lampwork” — what we call Murano style these days. It is a Chinese tradition taken to Venice by the explorer Marco Polo.

    Art is art. Period. As long as you love what you bought and it brings you joy, it IS Murano.

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