The Sale of Lots 677 and 678

The final auction tally came up to €374,392,500. Not shabby at all at times of recession and economic downturn. Soon all these work of arts and treasures will be placed in crates, packed away and delivered from Paris to the homes of their new owners. I do hope plenty of these will go to the AIDS research foundation as promised, and not just some token sum while someone else pocketed a whole lot of profits.

The most controversial sale came from the auctioning of lots 677 and 678 – featuring two rare Qing dynasty bronze sculptures, depicting a rabbit head and a rat head, which were part of a set of 12 that represented the 12 animals in Chinese Zodiac. They were sold at €15,745,000 each to unknown/private telephone bidder(s). Just as well, because I fear whoever that bidded for them openly may find themselves mysteriously disappear or something… (Sorry I’m being very cynical but with a good reason.)

Auction

This is a rather contentious issue. In China, those interviewed by foreign journalists believed that these two relics should be returned to the rightly owner – China. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage even brought this to court, but their filing was shot down by the French court. Rightly so, in my opinion.

Afterall, while Chinese authority is indignantly demanding for what they believe they have a claim to (in a way, they do but very very technically, these belonged to the past Emperors but since they decided to do away without the Imperial powers… just sayin’) their behaviour is nothing short of a bully at the playground who wants everything his way or else… Oh their contempt at the failure to block this sale is evident from miles away.

How conveniently they never mentioned Bergé’s offer to re-gift the relics back to China. “I would be very happy to go myself and bring these two Chinese heads to put them in the Summer Palace in Beijing. All they have to do is to declare they are going to apply human rights, give the Tibetans back their freedom and agree to accept the Dalai Lama on their territory.”

Of course, to accept this offer would mean an acknowledgement of their own looting of other customs and cultures, and their lack of respect for human rights. Therefore, from my point of view (and echoing many who are pro-human rights and in favour of a free Tibet) – “Until they return the rights of others along with the looted treasures they got away with, they can shut up”.

(I am so never going be issued a visa to visit China from now on, am I?)

2 Comments so far

  1. seurann on March 2nd, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    I heard on the radio this morning that the mysterious bidder is Chinese and declare he won’t pay the 15million € … to be continued …


  2. Lil (lilianl) on March 2nd, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

    yes, i saw it on the news this morning too, and i was debating whether to write another entry about it or not, then decided against it. it’s like a bad drama unfolding…



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