Chinese authorities forced the closing of a museum curated by a local Communist Party leader in northern China after determining that almost all of the items in its 50 million-yuan ($8.1 million) collection were fake. The fakes included an item billed as a five-color porcelain vase from the Tang Dynasty, even though this artistic technique wasn’t invented until hundreds of years later, the Shanghai Daily said in a story today. Another item was purportedly signed in simplified Chinese by an emperor said to have lived more than 3,000 years before the writing system was invented...
Residents in nearby village of Erpu had long argued that the party boss who oversaw the collection bought fake items with money raised for the museum, the Global Times newspaper reported. The museum was shut after photos of its exhibits appeared online with a story questioning their authenticity, the newspaper said.
“Jibaozhai has no qualification to be a museum as its collections are fake and it hasn’t reported to my department for approval,” said an official from the Hebei cultural heritage bureau with the last name Li, according to the Global Times. The official Xinhua News agency reported that the museum was founded with a 50 million-yuan investment. A story on Sina.com included photographs of figurines on display with the caption “fake collections.”
Wei Yingjun, the museum's chief consultant said "at least 80" of the 40,000 objects had been confirmed as authentic. "I'm positive that we do have authentic items in the museum. There might be fake items too but we would need [to carry out] identification and verification [to confirm that]," he told the UK's Telegraph.
Yingjun said objects that are in doubt have been marked clearly so not to mislead visitors.
Deputy curator Shao Baoming was more confident, arguing that "at least half of the exhibits" are legitimate.