Mon, Sep 07, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Culture ministry asked to develop show guidelines

AUTHENTICITY ISSUES:The Fair Trade Commission and the Taipei Consumer Protection Department are gathering details about a Leonardo da Vinci show

Staff writer, with CNA

The Consumer Protection Commission has asked the Ministry of Culture to develop a standard operating procedure for art exhibition organizers to follow.

The commission’s request comes amid a controversy over “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius” exhibition now on display at Taipei’s Huashan 1914 Creative Park.

The ministry needs to provide guidelines on how exhibitors can advertise their shows and help them abide by the law, commission Deputy Chief Wu Cheng-hsueh (吳政學) said on Saturday.

“As to whether this exhibition has violated the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法) by false advertising, I suggest that the Fair Trade Commission be the one to respond to the question,” Wu said.

If the Fair Trade Commission finds irregularities with the exhibition, people who bought tickets to the show could demand a refund or other forms of compensation.

Regular-priced tickets to the show cost NT$350.

Fair Trade Commission Vice Chairman Chiu Yung-ho (邱永和) said his organization is working with the Taipei Consumer Protection Department to gather details about the exhibition and promotional material for it.

Asked if the Fair Trade Commission has requested that the organizers provide certificates of authenticity for the show’s paintings, Chiu said such an action would signify the start of a formal investigation, but that point has not yet been reached.

Questions were first raised about the show, which opened on June 27 and is scheduled to run through Sept. 20, after a young boy stumbled on Aug. 23, poking a hole in one of the paintings as he tried to catch his balance.

The show’s organizers and curators identified the damaged oil painting as a 350-year-old work by Paolo Porpora (1617-1673), titled Flowers, which was valued at US$1.5 million.

However, the Italian auction house Casa d’Aste Della Rocca said the painting was one that it had auctioned in 2012, which was by Mario Nuzzi (1603-1673), not Porpora.

Shortly afterwards, Alessandro Vezzosi, curator of the Museo Ideale Da Vinci in Tuscany, Italy, and an expert on Da Vinci, and art history professor Tomaso Montanari said that a painting in the show labeled as a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci had not been painted by the master.

Sun Chi-hsuan (孫紀璿), head of exhibition co-organizer TST Art of Discovery Co, said his company is working to clarify the disputes surrounding the paintings.

“We hope to explain everything in a clear and comprehensive way once and for all,” Sun said.

The company and Andrea Rossi, the Italian curator of the exhibition, have been trying to reach the curatorial team in Italy and would provide an explanation as soon as they have one, he said.

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