• 23-09-2019 | 2 Vietnamese paintings removed from Sotheby’s auctions

  • Two paintings scheduled to go under the hammer at two separate auctions in Hong Kong next month have been pulled from the event’s list of items as information emerged suggesting they may be plagiarized from works by famous late Vietnamese artists.


    Auction house Sotheby’s Hong Kong no longer presents details of the two artworks, which were previously claimed to be The Letter by To Ngoc Van and Resting Ladies by Tran Van Can, in the selection for two auction nights on October 5 and 6.


    Both paintings are known to be painted with ink and gouache on silk in 1931 and 1944, respectively.


    As news of the scheduled auctions reached Vietnam, a local museum and several artists have expressed concerns that the two paintings may be fake.


    Nguyen Anh Minh, director of the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, has told local media that his museum is keeping both paintings in question, and “has all the evidence and documents to prove their authenticity.”


    Minh said that the Hanoi-based museum purchased the two genuine paintings in the 1960s and has since reserved them in their collection.


    Several veteran Vietnamese painters and researchers also pointed out suspicious signs in the two works set for the Hong Kong auction, including their poor quality.


    Shortly after the Vietnamese painting community voiced their objection, Sotheby’s silently withdrew the two paintings from its auction list, without leaving any explanation.


    On April 2, 2017, Sotheby’s sold Family Life by Vietnamese artist Le Pho in the period 1937-1939 for $1,172,080, setting a new record for Vietnam’s most expensive painting ever bid. But this successfully auctioned painting was also suspected to be fake.


    Source: Tuoi Tre News


  • Resting Ladies by Tran Van Can. Photo by Sotheby’s
  • The Letter by To Ngoc Van. Photo by Sotheby’s