The Korea Herald


Daegu Art Museum under audit after forgery found

By Park Yuna

Published : April 27, 2023 - 09:33

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"Plum Blossom," attributed to Joseon-era painter Kim Jin-man, has been found to be a forgery. (Daegu Art Museum)

Daegu Art Museum is under a special audit by the city government after one of the museum's paintings was found to be a forged work.

"Plum Blossom," attributed to Joseon-era painter Kim Jin-man (1876-1933), was found to have been forged, and the city government is looking into how it became part of the city museum's collection.

“Technically all works are subject to inspection. We will remove works found to be fake from our collection. For now, we are waiting for the inspection result and will strengthen the procedure for acquiring works," an official from the Daegu Art Museum told The Korea Herald on Wednesday.

The unprecedented three-week audit, which began Tuesday, will inspect 1,300 works of art donated to the museum. The museum houses a total of 1,899 works, according to the city government.

In February, a report by the city council raised questions about the authenticity of some of the works in the collection, triggering appraisals of works, including "Plum Blossom," at the request of the city government and the museum. While the authenticity of "Plum Blossom" began to be questioned last year, the museum remained silent.

“Plum Blossom” was purchased for 10 million won ($7,500) in 2017 from a private collector. The painter Kim Jin-man was also an independence activist who fought against the Japanese during the 1910-45 colonial era.

The city government has deployed some 10 officials for the audit, which will be concluded on May 12. The audit will look into whether the museum holds more forgeries and the process of acquiring works, including “Plum Blossom,” that were not accompanied by a certification of authenticity.

“We will eradicate the shady exchanges behind purchasing works and forgery cases through the audit,” Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo said.

The museum’s director position remains vacant after Choi Eun-ju left for the director position at Seoul Museum of Art in March. The move came a few months after she was appointed to a second term as the director of Daegu Museum of Art, provoking criticism of her departure.