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Vietnam painting market frozen due to forgeries (July 14, 2005)

Painting by artist Mai Thu.
For the first time, a team of inspectors from the Ministry of Culture and Information have arrived in Hue, Da Nang and HCM City to investigate fine art forgeries – an ongoing problem in Vietnam for some time now.

"Two common forms of violations have been found: imitation of fine art works without permission from the author and fakes with forged signatures", said Vi Kien Thanh, Deputy Head of Department for Fine Arts and Photography and advisor to the mission, in an interview with a Tuoi Tre journalist.

"Violations were found predominantly in HCM city as cultural and arts activities are booming there", added Thanh.

Vi Kien Thanh, Deputy head of the Department for Fine Arts and Photography.
As for fake drawings, Mr Thanh commented: “Acts of forging works by renowned artists such as Nguyen Phan Chanh, Mai Trung Thu, Le Pho, Nguyen Gia Tri and Bui Xuan Phai are regarded as rampant misconduct. However, it is quite difficult to identify those behind this illegal reproduction ring as it is secretly run and well-organized".

In terms of the negative impact posed by fake images and illegal reproduction of fine art works, Mr Thanh revealed :"From the 1900s, Vietnam's paintings were highly collected and sold on the international market as many were attracted by the rich traditional materials employed like silk and lacquer.

However, since 1997 our painting market has been frozen, mainly due to the prevalence of fakes and forgeries".

According to Mr Thanh, in order to remedy the situation firm laws need to be created and enforced, inspections need to be intensified, and penalties imposed.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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