Chinese artist convicted of plagiarising Belgian painter

A court in Beijing has ordered artist Ye Yongqing to pay 650,000 euros in damages to Belgian painter Christian Silvain for plagiarism, Het Nieuwsblad reports on Friday.

Ye built a successful career by plagiarising Silvain's work. He became a professor, a curator and a big-selling artist. His works sold for up to 600,000 euros in the biggest auction houses.

He is said to have discovered Silvain's work at an exhibition in Paris sometime in the 1990s, where he obtained a catalogue from which he started copying. It took until early 2019 for Ye to be caught. The state-run China Daily newspaper calculated that his works had earned him nearly 15 million US dollars by then.

A Beijing court has now ordered Ye to pay 650,000 euros in damages and to publish a public apology in the newspaper.


#FlandersNewsService | A series of paintings by Ye Yongqing at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, 2010 © EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels