Lee Ufan forgers arrested by South Korean authorities

Lee Ufan, From Line (No. 780103), 1978. Courtesy Artnet and Tina Kim Gallery, News 24 October 2016

The South Korean police has arrested three people suspected of creating and distributing counterfeits of 40 artworks by Lee Ufan between 2012 and 2014, The Korea Times reports. The police said these forgers – Kim and Ku, a couple of dealers and Park, a painter – are unrelated to the ones currently on trial including gallery owner Hyeon and his accomplices. Arrested in June, Hyeong confessed to having made $1.1m from selling the forgeries – even though Ufan, when asked to testify that the paintings were faked, recognised them as his own.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, Kim and Ku purchased the fake paintings from Park for around 300 million won (approx. £200,000) and resold those to a gallery owner for 2.9 billion won (approx. £2 million). After the police found out the canvas was produced after 2005, Park admitted his forgery. 

18 November 2016.