Three More Arrested in South Korea for Producing and Selling Lee Ufan Forgeries

The painter and two dealers are reportedly unrelated to the gallerist already on trial.

Lee Ufan. Photo courtesy FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images.

Another thread unravels in the strange saga of forged Lee Ufan paintings in South Korea. Following the June indictment of an art dealer known as Hyeon for selling three confirmed forgeries, another, apparently separate, group of counterfeiters was arrested this week, Korea Times reports.

Seoul Police revealed on Monday that they had nabbed a painter, identified only as Park, who confessed to forging around 40 paintings, and two dealers, husband-and-wife Kim and Ku.

Park reportedly took careful measures to match the renowned artist’s color palette and signature. He sold his fakes to Kim and Ku for a price in the neighborhood of 300 million South Korean Won ($260,000) each. The couple then resold the paintings to a gallery for 2.9 billion Won ($2.4 million).

The Lee Ufan forgery scandal has rocked the South Korean art scene this year. The complicated case involved the artist disagreeing with police on whether confirmed forgeries of his work were real.

Last month, the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism announced plans to implement a new law that imposes higher regulations on art dealers, galleries, and auction houses, in hopes of preventing further fakes hitting the market.

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