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Restoration of $400,000 Painting in Seoul Sparks Debate

Restoration of $400,000 Painting in Seoul Sparks Debate

Wednesday, 14 April, 2021 - 05:00
A visitor looks at the graffiti artwork of New York-based artist Jon One, Seoul, South Korea, April 2, 2021. Reuters

The US graffiti artist known as JonOne found himself in a very confusing situation. During his participation in an art exhibition in Seoul, one of his artworks was mistakenly defaced, but the company organizing the event refused to compensate him, saying the distortion gave the painting an added value.

According to the German News Agency (dpa), in late March, a young couple accidentally defaced the painting (7×2.3 meters) by adding small smudges of green paint. The couple assumed the painting was a participatory work that visitors can contribute to.

However, the company organizing the exhibition refused the idea of removing the unwanted smudges which distorted the work estimated at over $400,000. "Many social media users said the smudges look like an integral part of the work," said Jiyoon Son, a manager from Seoul-based Content Creators of Culture.

She added that her company is trying to persuade the American graffiti artist John Andrew Perello (known as JonOne) not to restore the painting named "Untitled."

The restoration of the work would cost around 10 million won ($8,900), she noted.

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