China Fails to Halt Sale of Looted Relics at Paris Auction
PARIS — Two bronze heads originally looted from China were sold Wednesday night for a total of nearly $35.9 million without commissions, after fierce but futile protests from China and a failed legal challenge to the auction.In Beijing, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage denounced the sale Thursday, saying in a statement: “This has hurt the cultural rights and interests of the Chinese people and the national sentiment and will have a serious effect on Christie’s development in China.”
The bronze heads sold at the [YVES SAINT LAURENT] auction, a rat and a rabbit, are part of a 12-animal fountain, based on the Chinese zodiac, that was constructed around 1750 from the design of Jesuit priests in the Qing dynasty. The fountain was built for the imperial gardens of the Old Summer Palace during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century.
Now fast-forward to March 2nd, where the real twist emerges!
(please note: image at left is from BBC news)
If well-known art buyers such as Mr.Cai are getting involved with the Chinese
government in a plot to corrupt the auction, what kind of antics can we look
forward to in the future? Has China overlooked that legally speaking, Bergé
has every right to sell his possessions at auction? Should Bergé have returned
them to China when they requested them prior to the auction?