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Fraud is rampant in China's art world

October 10, 2011

In China, the art world is a rather turbulent one, filled with impostor art and buyers who can't or won't pay up. Some amateur artists are selling their own art as the works of more prominent artists, and there are even fake art collectors who attend art auctions and overbid on these and other works.

National Public Radio reports that a portrait, which was reported to have been painted by the late Xu Beihong, recently sold at auction for $11.4 million. The painting was reportedly a depiction of the famous painter's wife, and a note from Beihong's son on the back of the painting lays claim to its authenticity. However, a 66-year-old painter from Mongolia claims that the portrait does not look anything like Beihong's wife. Instead, it resembles a portrait he himself painted in 1983 during a figure-painting session at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He and his classmates published an open letter to expose the fraudulent painting, according to the news source.

When it comes to art auctions, faux-bidders will often overbid to drive up the price of low-value items. Still other bidders simply do not understand the auction system and bid higher than their means so many pieces go unpaid for.

People can use international calling cards to make calls to China to discuss the current state of the art market.

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