Worthless Paintings Anyone?

I posted two articles about Ai Weiwei earlier today (and planned to post this article as a pair because they deal with artists) and thought that you all would like another art piece.

This article is about a curator who swapped his paintings for real ones, and he found out other people were swapping their paintings for his fakes.  You can read briefly about fakes here.  I copied and pasted this article from the BBC.

China curator replaced stolen masters with forgeries

  • 21 July 2015
  • From the section China

A woman inspects artwork by Chinese artist Qi Baishi entitled 'Landscapes' during a China Guardian auction preview in Hong Kong.
Works copied included those by Qi Baishi

A man in China has admitted stealing more than 140 paintings by Chinese masters from a university and replacing them with his own forgeries.

Xiao Yuan, 57, a curator at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in southern China, sold 125 of the exhibits for more than 34m yuan (£4m, $6m).

In his defence, he told Guangzhou People’s Intermediate Court there were already fakes in the storeroom when he started work there.

He will be sentenced later.

Xiao, who had a key to the university storeroom, substituted famous works by masters including Zhu Da, Qi Baishi and Zhang Daqian for two years from 2004.

He told the court that during this time he was surprised to find his own fakes were being stolen and replaced with yet more copies.

Guangzhou People's Intermediate Court
Xiao Yuan told the court he spotted fakes in the storeroom on his first day at work

“I realised someone else had replaced my paintings with their own because I could clearly discern that their works were terribly bad,” he said.

He said he did not know who had replaced his fakes, but that students and professors could take out paintings in the same way as they could borrow library books.

Between 2004 and 2011 he sold 125 paintings, using the proceeds to buy property and other paintings.

The 18 others he stole are estimated to be worth more than 70m yuan, prosecutors said.

The stolen works included Rock and Birds by 17th-Century painter and calligrapher Zhu Da.

Xiao, who left the university in 2010 when allegations were taken to the police, pleaded guilty to a corruption charge.

He apologised but took issue with some of the details of the prosecution.

In 2012 Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that art forgery was “increasingly rampant” in the country.

That year it became the world’s largest market for art and antiques, according to the European Fine Art Foundation.



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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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