return icon

Sotheby's pulls Vietnamese paintings from upcoming auction

Auction house Sotheby’s Hong Kong has pulled several Vietnamese paintings from an upcoming sale due to uncertainty over their authenticity.


Resting Ladies by Tran Van Can displayed at the Viet Nam Museum of Fine Arts. — VNS Photo Doan Tung


In an email to Việt Nam News on September 23 Sothebys said they had become aware of concerns over the authenticity of To Ngoc Van’s Lá Thư (The Letter) and Tran Van Can's Hai Thiếu Nữ Trước Bình Phong (Resting ladies).

"Sotheby's takes issues of authenticity seriously and has decided to withdraw the aforementioned paintings from the auction, allowing more time for further investigation," Press Manager Erica Ng wrote.

The Letter and Resting Ladies were slated to go under the hammer at a Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Evening Sale from October 5-6.

The Letter had been expected to go for HK$800,000-1,500,000 (US$100,000-192,000) and Resting Ladies from HK$60,000-90,000.

“The two paintings are in the Viet Nam National Fine Arts Museum’s collection,” said Bui Hoang Anh, a member of the Viet Nam Fine Arts Association and Editor-in-Chief of Fine Arts Magazine.

"The Letter owned by Sothebys looks nothing like the original at the museum, which has been damaged by time with several tears."

Resting Ladies was bought in 1965 from a family living in Ba Trieu Street thanks to an introduction by art critic Nguyen Hai Yen, according to Anh.

The national museum needs to confirm their paintings are originals, according to artist Pham Ha Hai, former secretary of the museum’s Science Council.

“This is a matter of national ownership and the legality of the property,” said Hai. “The museum should be responsible for the late artists.”

He said the museum had documentation and other provenances registered with the Cultural Heritage Department.

“The museum is holding masterpieces as national treasures with all the proper documentation to ensure their legality,” Nguyen Thu Huong, the museum’s deputy director, told VN News. VNS


Groundwater exploitation threatens HCMC

HCMC is making effort to reduce groundwater exploitation to 100,000 cubic meters per day to combat land subsidence, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment said.

50,000 HCM City workers face falling incomes

As many as 50,000 workers in HCM City have witnessed falling incomes so far this year, said an official from the HCM City Labour Federation.

Ha Giang warns about online hotel reservation scams

Ha Giang Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism have warned tourists about online hotel reservation scams.

Wild sunflowers in bloom in northwestern Dien Bien Province

The wild sunflower is a shrub with an average height of about 2m - 3m. Its plant stem is dark green and erect. When the trunk turns to wood, it is grey-brown. It grows alone or in clusters, and the buds bloom at the beginning of winter.

HCM City to ban sleeper buses entering downtown from mid-December

The HCM City Department of Transport has proposed to ban sleeper buses entering the city centre between 6am and 10pm from the middle of next month in an effort to crack down on picking up and dropping off passengers illegally.

Low pay, high stress lead teachers to question their careers

Nhat Tien, a teacher at a primary school for autistic children in HCM City’s District 3, has been thinking about quitting her job for many times.

Dinh Hong Quan to defend IBF title

International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Dinh Hong Quan is set to defend his title on December 10 at the Grand Ho Tram Resort in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Vietnam records boom in number of Japanese restaurants nationwide

The number of Japanese restaurants across the country has enjoyed strong growth in terms of scale and number, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City.

HCM City association to host first international photography fest

The HCM City Photography Association (HPA) is hosting the first-ever international photography festival from November 25-30.


Big supermarkets join Promotion Month 2022

Missosology picks locals contestant among Top 3 at Mister Grand International

Missosology, the world’s leading publication on beauty pageants, has named Vietnamese representative Vu Linh among its hot picks of the Top 3 currently participating in the Mister Grand International 2022 pageant.

HIV infections rise among people under 29

The number of young people catching HIV has seen an upward trend recently, with 50% of new cases being under the age of 29.

Three female scientists receive L’Oreal-UNESCO awards

Three female scientists were granted the 2022 L'Oreal-UNESCO awards at a ceremony in Hanoi on November 25.

Vietnam has two more named in Asia-Pacific documentary heritage list

Two heritage pieces of Vietnam were recognised as part of documentary heritage in Asia and the Pacific on November 26, at the 9th general meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific.


NA Chairman Hue to visit Australia, New Zealand