Dacheng seminar focuses on artwork identification and appraisal in China

Dacheng recently hosted a seminar to discuss a contract dispute that involved RMB1bn (£97m) worth of artworks owned by Wang Zhicheng, a renowned Chinese collector.  

Participants in the seminar included Qian Weiqing, senior partner at Dacheng; Wang Zhicheng, the collector; Liu Yulin, director of the Artware Appraisal Committee of the Institute of Socialist Literature and Art in China; Liu Xiong, dean of the School of Cultural Relics, Peking University Resource College; Xu Qiang, director of the Ancient Jade Appraisal Office of Artware Appraisal Committee, Institute of Socialist Literature and Art; Li Huibing, research fellow from the Palace Museum; and Mu Zhide, a collector and cultural relics researcher.

Zhicheng was represented by Weiqing in a trial of second instance in a contract dispute with Oceanwide Foundation. The case attracted much attention because on the one hand it involved 10,000 pieces of collection and RMB1bn of compensation, and on the other hand it revealed deeper-rooted problems in the artwork collection circle, such as a poorly regulated system for cultural relics identification and appraisal in which words of the so-called ‘pseudo-experts’ were taken too seriously.

Dacheng convened legal experts, professional artwork appraisers and collectors to look into the underlying causes of the dispute, uncover the serious harm that improper artwork identification and appraisal practices had inflicted and explore how an integrated, regulated and orderly system could be established. The participants all had this common goal of creating a pure environment for this artistic endeavour and pushing forward China’s institutional reform in the cultural relics and museum industry.

Weiqing, who is also legal counsel for the National Museum of China, chief counsel for and member of the China Association of collectors and a collector himself, delivered a keynote speech entitled ‘The future of ancient artwork identification and appraisal in China’.

Citing cases of Wang Gang, a BTV anchor who mistakenly smashed a piece of a collection, and the Jibaozhai Incident, both of which were represented by Qian, he shared his in-depth thoughts with the participating guests.