Long Museum Co-Founder Liu Yiqian Defends Authenticity of $8 Million Chinese Scroll

Is the scroll a 19th-century copy?

Su Shi, Gong Fu Tie (detail). Photo: courtesy Sotheby's.
Su Shi, Gong Fu Tie (detail).
Photo: courtesy Sotheby's.

On February 18, Chinese collector and Shanghai’s Long Museum co-founder Liu Yiqian, invited media and experts to a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing to examine and confirm the authenticity of the long-disputed scroll, Gong Fu Tie. Liu Yiqian, who is worth $900 million according to Forbes, paid $8.2 million for the hanging scroll at at Sotheby’s New York auction last fall.

In the preceding two months, a furious dispute about the authenticity of Gong Fu Tie calligraphy raged on after three specialists from the Shanghai Museum claimed the scroll, purported to be by artist Su Shi (1037–1101) is a fake. At the press conference, Long Museum representatives released a high-definition image and the results of the technical analysis that support the natural writing features of the work, which rebuts the view that a copying method was used in creating this work between 1820 and 1871.

Several scholars and experts present have long supported the conclusion of connoisseurs Zhang Congyu and the late Xu Bangda who contend that the work is authentic based on the handwriting characteristics and description.

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