Korean museum sues Yale over fake curator

NEW YORK. A $50m federal lawsuit was filed in Connecticut District Court on 24 March against Yale University for wrongly confirming that former South Korean art history professor and chief curator at the Sungkok Art Museum, Shin Jeong-ah, had earned a Yale doctorate (The Art Newspaper, September 2007, p31). In 2005 Shin was hired by the prestigious Dongguk University based on a 2005 confirmation from Yale officials that she had graduated from the Ivy League institution. Shin, who has a high school degree, also used her false credentials to become co-director of the 2008 Gwangju Biennale. Officials cancelled her appointment in July 2007 after discovering she had forged her academic records.

Robert Weiner, attorney for the Buddhist-affiliated Dongguk University, told The Art Newspaper: “The University needs to be compensated due to the losses it has suffered. There has been a diminution in corporate and individual contributions, fewer students are applying, they have lost grants and awards and it has impacted their ability to open a new law school.”

Shin was sentenced to 18 months in jail for fabricating her diplomas and embezzling money from Sungkok Art Museum. She is appealing the sentence.

Charmaine Picard

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