Beijing: A group of former students of China`s top art academy have said that a painting that fetched 72.8 million yuan ($11.4 million) at an auction was actually drawn by them.
The painting by Xu Beihong, a late master of both oils and ink, was sold at a Beijing auction.
The class of 1984 at Beijing-based China Central Academy of Fine Arts noticed the familiar oil painting from the news of its astronomical auction price, reported Shanghai Daily.
In an open letter, the students claimed that they spent three weeks creating the piece at a training lesson in May 1983.
They said that over 20 of them had done similar works and they showed five more paintings similar to the auctioned piece, with the same scene and same model, but with different angles.
"It was impossible for Xu to create a painting in which the model`s pose, figure, hairstyle and facial characteristics were identical to the ones we created at the training lesson," the letter claimed.
The canvas titled `The Nude Portrait of Jiang Biwei` was endorsed by Xu Boyang, the older son of Xu Beihong.