International auction house Sotheby’s has insisted on the authenticity of a calligraphy work acquired by a Chinese collector for US$8.2 million in September amid claims by a group of Chinese experts that it is a fake, China Daily reported Monday. Three scholars from the Shanghai Museum said over the weekend they were about to deliver a research report on a copying method used in creating fake works of calligraphy, including evidence that the Gong Fu Tie calligraphy, said to be by artist Su Shi (1037-1101), was produced using this method. If they are right, the piece was created in the 19th century, about 800 years after its supposed creator died, according to the newspaper. It was bought by Liu Yiqian, an experienced collector, at a Sotheby’s auction in New York in September. The work, with nine characters, had been described as one of the finest examples of calligraphy and had been studied by scholars for centuries, the report said. “Sotheby’s firmly stands by the attribution of the Gong Fu Tie calligraphy to the Song Dynasty poet Su Shi,” Andrew Gully, worldwide director of communications for the auction house, was quoted as saying.
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