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Japanese apologizes for faking traditional Korean ceramics+.

SEOUL, Nov. 27 Kyodo

A Japanese ceramics artist has apologized to South Korean ceramists for making false claims that he had successfully revived the technique of producing traditional Korean ceramics called Koryo celadon, local artists said Monday.

''I retract my claims that I had succeeded in reviving Koryo celadon,'' Shunzei Tani, 71, from Kyoto, was quoted as saying in an apology Sunday to a group of South Korean ceramists in the city of Ichon, a city in Kyonggi Province renowned in South Korea for ceramic arts.

The Koryo celadon, dating back to the Koryo state (918-1392), is famous for its beauty and exquisite color. The technique for making it was lost in the 14th century.

Tani held a series of exhibitions -- in places including Paris, Milan and Japanese cities -- declaring that he had succeeded in reviving the technique for making Koryo celadon with Yoo Hae Kang, a famous South Korean ceramic artist whom he met in the 1960s.

After Yoo died in 1993, Tani started exhibiting his own Koryo celadon wares, including an exhibition in October, when Tani held an exhibition in Vienna with the help of the Japanese Embassy in Austria.

But according to an association of South Korean ceramic artists in Ichon, they found that Tani had put his pen name on celadon wares made recently by an obscure potter from Ichon.

They also said Tani initially bought ceramics from Yoo and sold them in Japan.

''A Japanese ceramic seller made fun of Koryo celadon, which is a precious cultural heritage,'' a South Korean ceramist said angrily.

Tani arrived in South Korea on Sunday to issue the apology, following protests from South Korean ceramic artists.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Dec 4, 2000
Words:277
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