Wed, Sep 09, 2015 - Page 4 News List

‘Leonardo’ show organizer fails to resolve controversy

Staff writer, with CNA

The organizer of the controversial “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius” exhibition in Taipei on Monday issued a statement, but failed to resolve questions about the artwork in the show.

TST Art of Discovery Co’s short statement on Facebook about the show at Huashan 1914 Creative Park basically reiterated its previous comments.

“All of the paintings on display at the venue are authentic, and all have been carefully confirmed and appraised by our curatorial team when the artworks were borrowed from their original owners,” the company said. “There is absolutely no malicious deception on the part of the organizers.”

It added that those who have questioned the authenticity, painter and date of the paintings should provide certificates of authenticity to prove their point.

However, it failed to offer any evidence that a disputed painting, labeled Flowers, was done by Italian painter Paolo Porpora (1617-1673), not Mario Nuzzi (1603-1673), as an Italian auction house has claimed and some experts have suggested.

The Italian auction house Casa d’Aste Della Rocca on Saturday said that its experts said the painting was by Nuzzi.

The painting made headlines after a Taiwanese boy tripped and poked a hole in it on Aug. 23.

Doubts have also been raised about a so-called “self-portrait” of Leonardo da Vinci.

TST Art of Discovery Co head Sun Chi-hsuan (孫紀璿) had said over the weekend that the firm hoped to explain everything in a clear and comprehensive way once and for all shortly, adding that it had been trying to reach the curatorial team in Italy.

TST Art of Discovery Co has said that the total value of the 55 paintings in the show is NT$10 billion (US$303 million), but many people have questioned whether one of the old factory buildings at Huashan 1914 Creative Park could provide the strict temperature and humidity control that old masterpieces require.

The exhibition’s low level of security has also raised questions.

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