Back Stories » Vietnam » Museum Apologizes for Exhibition Featuring Replicas of Famous Vietnamese Paintings

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts had to issue a public apology earlier this week for featuring fake paintings in its recent exhibition, Painting Returned from Europe.

The exhibition opened on July 10, boasting a collection of authentic artwork from legendary Vietnamese artists such as Bui Xuan Phai, Nguyen Tu Nghiem and Ta Ty, reports Thanh Nien. However, according to Zing, as soon as the doors were opened to viewers, some eagle-eyed members of the audience questioned the authenticity of the paintings.

A panel of local artists and art experts have confirmed that 15 of the 17 featured paintings are replicas. One of the remaining two belongs to local artist Thanh Chuong. The fakes were displayed under Ta Ty and Nguyen Sy Ngoc’s names, which were forged onto the paintings. Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association Luong Xuan Doan dubbed the scandal “an insult to Vietnam’s fine arts”.

"All local artists are outraged by the paintings, which are bad and superficial copies. Anyone can see they are fake," he told Thanh Nien.

All the artwork on display at the exhibition is owned by Vu Xuan Chung, who said he got them from noted Vietnamese art expert Jean-Francois Hubert, a former senior consultant for international auction houses Christie's and Sotherby's.

[Photo via Thanh Nien]

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