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Korean avant-garde artist Kim Ku-lim seeks W130m for damaged artworks

Korea’s first-generation avant-garde artist Kim Ku-lim (Yonhap)
Korea’s first-generation avant-garde artist Kim Ku-lim (Yonhap)


Korea’s first-generation avant-garde artist Kim Ku-lim has sought 130 million won ($105,720) in compensation for his artworks that were damaged during an exhibition at Chang Ucchin Museum of Art in Yangju, just north of Seoul.

The issue was first raised on April 25 when Kim posted about his two damaged artworks including “Stone,” which he created in 1981, on his social media account. One artwork was hung on the wall and the other was installed on the floor in front of the wall during the exhibition held from Oct. 1 last year to Feb. 9.

Since the artworks had insurance, the museum reported the damages to the insurance company, which requested Korea Art Authentication & Appraisal Research Center to valuate Kim’s works.

“The compensation amount for the ripped artwork on the wall was estimated to be 4 million won to 5 million won and the installation work was estimated to be around 10 million won to 15 million won,” Kim said in his Facebook post while expressing dissatisfaction with his pieces being undervalued.

The 130 million won that Kim currently seeks is based on the price of his artworks he and the art museum agreed upon when taking out the insurance. Kim claims that his works are actually worth more than 130 million won but that he had agreed to the amount because the museum said the insurance payment would become too high if it costs more than that.

The museum admitted that there were some damages to the artworks.

“As far as we understand, the artwork that was placed on the floor was damaged due to humidity and sunlight,” Director of Chang Ucchin Museum of Art Cho Hyun-young told The Korea Herald. He added that the piece on the wall was ripped slightly allegedly by a visitor. “Around 7 millimeters was ripped. Although we have surveillance cameras and staff watching the artworks, as many as 2,000 or more people visited daily and it is hard to find out who did it.” Cho added.

The museum said it has asked for revaluation of the artworks since it views the price as being unfair. “We are willing to adjust the compensation with Kim. We will do our best to satisfy the artist,” Cho said

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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