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Consumer protection personnel visit controversial exhibition

Consumer protection personnel visit controversial exhibition

Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) The Cabinet-level Department of Consumer Protection on Wednesday sent personnel to "The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius" exhibition in Taipei to check the venue and advertisements, amid a series of controversies surrounding the exhibition. The department said it needed to carry out some checks before it could determine whether the organizers of the exhibition had violated the law on false advertising. Wu Cheng-hsueh (???), deputy head of the department, said the organizers may be in violation of Article 22 of the Consumer Protection Act, if it is found that they are making false claims about the authenticity of the items on display. If that is the case, Wu said, visitors to the exhibition can demand a refund. If organizers are found to have been making false advertising, they may be subject to a fine of between NT$50,000 (US$1,542) and NT$25 million, which could rise to between NT$100,000 and NT$50 million if they fail to make the necessary corrections, Wu said. Controversies surrounding the exhibition surfaced after a Taiwanese boy stumbled and inadvertently punched a hole in a painting at the exhibition on Sunday. The co-organizer, TST Art of Discovery Co., identified the damaged painting as "Flowers" by Italian painter Paolo Porpora, but confusion has arisen as to who actually painted the artwork. It was found that auction house Della Rocca Casa d'Aste in 2012 had twice put a painting up for auction that was strikingly similar to the one on display in Taipei. The auction house identified the work as "Composizione con vaso di fiori" by Mario Nuzzi. The exhibition's Italian curator, Andrea Rossi, insisted on Tuesday that the painting was done by Porpora, and said it had been misidentified by the auction house. CNA has been unable to reach the auction house by phone or e-mail since Tuesday. The controversy also includes the value of the paintings on exhibit. The organizers have stated that the total value of the 55 paintings on display is NT$10 billion (US$308.31 million). Questions have been raised about whether such highly valuable works would be displayed at the exhibition venue at Huashan 1914 Creative Park without maximum security. (By Yang Shu-min and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-20 20:35 GMT+08:00