The impact of the rising cost of bronze on artists’ material choices

According to an article in the August 16, 2011 issue of The Wall Street Journal (“The Dawn of a Faux-Bronze Age?”, by Daniel Grant), due to the rising cost of bronze, sculptors are beginning to use materials like polyester resin, plaster, and terracotta which are either mixed with metal and mica powders or coated in order to produce a finish that resembles bronze. The resin sculptures are often labelled as “cold cast bronze” or “bonded bronze”. This may lead some buyers to believe that they own a metal sculpture.
As conservators, should we be concerned that owners, thinking their works are metal, will exhibit them in conditions appropriate for bronze but not for the other materials?