Monday, 16 March 2009
The Chinese Way
China had tried to dissuade Christie's from auctioning the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) bronze rabbit and rat heads sculptures that were part of the art collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. China argued that these sculptures, which were looted from the Summer Palace by Anglo-French allied forces during the Second Opium War in 1860, belong to China.
But the Chinese objection was rejected by the French court. However, Pierre Bergé offered to give back the sculptures to China when China frees Tibet ...
As everybody knows by now: The two relics were auctioned on February 25 for 14 mio. Euro (almost 20 mio USD) EACH (!) to an anonymous telephone bidder in Christie's sale of the collection in Paris.
And, surprise, surprise, the winning bidder is a Chinese man, Mr.Cai Minchao, who has no intention paying for the treasures looted from Beijing.
I thought it is a fun story to demonstrate the Chinese way of making business or politics. Smart and tricky. Beware!
Related Post: What you need to know when doing business with Chinese