Beijing No.2 Intermediate People's Court April 1 announced the first judgment regarding the proprietary right disputes of oil painting "Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan", which has drawn wide concern.
The court judged according to China's current law, the proprietary right and copyright of the oil painting are separated considering the issue against the special historical background. The state has the proprietary right and Liu Chunhua, the former Dean of Beijing Art Academy, and the single painter of the oil painting, enjoys the copyright.
According to sources, China Guardian International Auction Co., Ltd., entrusted by Li Chunhua, once sold the oil painting by auction on October 7, 1995. The Construction Bank Guangzhou Branch bid 5.5 million yuan for the painting and paid 550,000 yuan to Guardian as service cost. Liu Chunhua accepted 5.5 million yuan paid by the Construction Bank Guangzhou Branch, paid 480,000 yuan to Guardian as service cost, and paid tax of 760,000 yuan.
Since the painting is kept under the care of Construction Bank it still remains state owned following the court decision. Therefore, the court didn't accept the appeal of China's Revolutionary Museum, asking Liu Chunhua and the Construction Bank to return the painting.
The oil painting was created in 1967, during the course of "cultural revolution" and published on People's Daily, PLA Daily and the magazine of Red Flag on July 1, 1968.
(People’s Daily April 3, 2002)