Fakes are nothing new in China. From fake Apple stores & fake Ikea stores to fake rice made from plastic and even fake cities, almost everyday there is something new in China that is being faked, including & especially antiques. So it’s no surprise that there are also museums which are filled with fakes as well.
China’s Jiboazhai Museum Closed After Artifacts Discovered To Be Fake
However, this is a more complex story then it seems. Private museums are a sort of “rich man’s fad” that has popped up in China over the last ten years or so (with some of them being quite odd like the obscure Chinese businessmen museum). In fact, this trend has been reflected in the market shift in that the main buyers of Chinese antiques are now the Chinese themselves. And the reasons for opening such museums are many ranging from “gaining face,” to tax breaks, national pride to even money laundering. So it’s possible Wang Zonquan (王宗泉) knew the items in his Ji Bao Zhai museum (冀宝斋博物馆) were fake and simply lost face when he was found out (and later died from loosing face).
Anyways, as always in China – be on the lookout for fakes! 😉
Some really great breakdowns and analysis of the fakes can be found here in Chinese: