|Name Yoshihiko Wada|
Yoshihiko Wada (和田 義彦, Wada Yoshihiko, born 1940) is a Japanese painter.
Allegations of plagiarism
After receiving the education minister's prize in March , allegations of plagiarism surfaced after an anonymous tip-off was received by the Japan Artists Association and Agency for Cultural Affairs in April putting into question the authenticity of some of Wada's paintings. An investigation revealed that several of Wada's works had striking similarities to those of Alberto Sughi. According to Wada, he has been familiar with Sughi since his study in Italy in the 1970s. He denies plagiarism stating that he had worked with Sughi and was inspired by their collaboration. Also his exhibited works were an homage to Sughi. However, Sughi says he had no idea Wada was a painter and had thought he was just an admirer of his artwork. He was contacted by the Japanese embassy in Italy in early May and was shocked to learn of Wada's paintings. A review panel including three of the seven judges that awarded Wada the prize concluded that there was insufficient evidence to suggest Wada did not plagiarise Sughi's works. As a result, the Agency for Cultural Affairs decided on June 5 to strip Wada of the prize making it the first time in the prize's history that an artist was stripped of the award.