Prosecutors accused of hurting reputation of renowned French team

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2016-12-20 17:28 Updated : 2016-12-20 17:28
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[Yonhap Photo]

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Defense lawyers for the family of Chun Kyung-ja, one of South Korea's most renowned artists, blasted prosecutors Tuesday for hurting the reputation of a French team which has gained international recognition for analyzing the Mona Lisa.

At the request of Chun's family, Lumiere Technology, a prominent Paris-based research team, has sent the outcome of its research to South Korean prosecutors, concluding "Beautiful Woman" known as Chun's artworks was a fake.

The French team was given access to the Mona Lisa in 2004 by the Louvre and found an image of a portrait underneath it using reflective light technology. Prosecutors, however, rejected Lumiere's evaluation Monday, saying the art piece in question was genuine.

The defense counsel of Chun's family issued a statement Tuesday, accusing the prosecution of ignoring a reliable evaluation by those armed with "the world's highest level of technology" and equipment.

The artwork has been embroiled in a forgery row since the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) displayed it in 1991. At the time, Chun insisted the painting was a fake, retired from painting in protest and went to live with her daughter in the United States.

After Chun's death in 2015 in New York at the age of 91, her family sued MMCA officials and others for copyright infringement and defamation.

Chun was best known for her paintings of female figures and flowers using vivid primary colors that broke with traditional South Korean styles. Her works have sold at auction for up to one million dollars.