Seized works successfully sold off in Hong KongSeoul Auction sold in Hong Kong on Tuesday a group of 44 artworks that included nine paintings seized by the Korean government from Busan Savings Bank, which went bankrupt amid a corruption scandal last year.
Tuesday’s sale fetched 32.4 million Hong Kong dollars ($4.2 million), including 18.8 million Hong Kong dollars for the seized paintings that will be used to repay depositors.
Among the seized works were paintings by popular Chinese contemporary artists, which is why they were put up for auction in Hong Kong, Seoul Auction said. “Trauma” by Zeng Fanzhi fetched the highest price in this group, selling for 6.3 million Hong Kong dollars.
The state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation entrusted the sales of the seized works to Seoul Auction.
Jun Lee, chief executive of the auction house, said 81 more pieces worth $5 million from Busan Savings Bank and other Korean financial institutions that collapsed last year will be sold in Hong Kong in later auctions.
The painting “Garden,” by modern Korean artist Kim Whanki, fetched the highest price of 7.8 million Hong Kong dollars.
By Moon So-young, AP [email@example.com]