Sunday, June 04, 2006


(Above: "Nocturne 1", Alberto Sughi, 1998)

In the Japanese news this week: painter Yoshihiko Wada (66) is being investigated by the Cultural Affairs agency, pertaining to his works which were copied from those of Italian Alberto Sughi (77). OK - technically, they are trying to figure out if they were copied - but if you saw the 20+ paintings, there would be no doubt. If anyone says they weren't copied, it could only be to make the distinction that they were probably even traced.

(Above: "Nightclub", Yoshihiko Wada, 2000)

Unbelievably, Wada vehemently denies the claims. He probably should have reconsidered sending Sughi a letter begging him not to sue him, because he is dying of lung cancer and wants to live the rest of his days in peace. NB: He sure didn't look like he was on his last legs on the news this morning.

Sughi revealed his intention to sue Wada and the Cultural Affairs Agency for the paltry forgeries and subsequent award on a Japanese news program, which conducted an interview at his home in Rome.

Fraudsters and robbers exist in every country, at any given time. The worst part of this whole debacle is the fact that the Cultural Affairs agency awarded Wada the Education, Science, and Technology Minister's Art Encouragement Prize just this past March. My total lack of respect for bureaucrats is nothing new; I can't, however, get over the humiliation of living in a country where their incompetence is such that criminals are awarded and revered. It's like they're too busy spending tax-yen to install 24-carat toilet seats in their 17-bedroom mansions and buying limited-edition Bentleys to actually pay any attention to what is happening in the world. It's just so embarrassing.

It's not the first time this has happened either. In 2001, Shinichi Fujimura (a.k.a. "God's Hands", referring to his uncanny ability to unearth vast numbers of valuable artifacts at an alarming frequency), a celebrated archaeologist, was found burying fake paleolithic remnants at an archaeological site. Following the fiasco, his findings were removed from museums and history books were revised and re-published.

I have no more words for these morons. If I knew how to attach a video of me shaking my head in disgust, you know I would.

*Update here.


Blogger teahouse said...

Yeah, that's pretty disturbing. Copying someone else's painting exactly is just dumb. He could at least have juxtaposed some figures!

11:04 PM  

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