‘Chun work is a fake,’ say researchers at French lab

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‘Chun work is a fake,’ say researchers at French lab

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) expressed regret over media reports that French researchers concluded that the “Beautiful Woman” by Chun Kyung-ja (1924-2015) is a forgery.

The artwork has been at the center of a forgery allegations since 1991.

“Currently, evaluation is underway by scientists at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office as well as other specialists,” MMCA said through a press release on Friday, adding that the French team was chosen by the descendants of Chun and their work is paid by them, as well. “The results are not the outcome of a comprehensive evaluation.”

In 1991, MMCA displayed “Beautiful Woman,” part of its collection, at an exhibition. Chun said at that time that the piece is not hers. The allegation was never resolved and Chun’s death last year only reignited the scandal. The descendants sued related officials in last December, leading to an investigation. JTBC reported on Thursday that Lumiere Technology in Paris, which investigated the painting, concluded that “Beautiful Woman” is not a painting by Chun Kyung-ja.

The French company, which visited the MMCA in September and took images of Chun’s nine works, added that while Chun’s works demonstrate “roundness and softness,” “Beautiful Woman” was done in an angular and rough manner. Lumiere Technology was given access to the Mona Lisa in 2004 by the Louvre and found an image of a portrait underneath it using reflective light technology.

Officials at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office told JoongAng Ilbo they have received the findings from the French company, but emphasized they will make a final decision based on the results of various investigations, adding that they are “not excluding the possibility that it could be authentic.”

BY KIM HYUNG-EUN [hkim@joongang.co.kr]

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