The designer of the Aboriginal flag has lambasted an idea to police the authenticity of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander art, believing it to be steeped in “institutional racism”.

The Federal Government is currently undertaking an inquiry that aims to prevent exploitation of Indigenous culture through the proliferation of “inauthentic” art and artefacts.

But although many Indigenous art groups were in favour of more regulation, Harold Thomas believed that setting out a definition of what was “authentic” would place Indigenous artists in a vacuum, unable to draw on modern influences and under a “repugnant” level of cultural control.

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