The Beijing Summer Palace Zodiac Clock sculptures sell for €15.75m ($20m).
For More on the history of the two sculptures and a discussion of who might have looted them, see Richard Spencer’s Blog at the Telegraph. Here’s a small taste of what he has to say, it’s followed by a fascinating story that’s well worth reading:
There’s no denying that the burning of the Summer Palace was an atrocity: it caused huge outrage even in the Europe of the time. But it is odd and perhaps unfortunate that attention has come to focus on these particular relics. State media, while particularly sensitive to the European insult, are often rather careful to avoid hyping these items up as examples of high Chinese culture: for good reason, as they are not really Chinese, and the whole story of the fountain of which they are part is shrouded in ambiguity.
So Who Did Loot Those French-Italian Animal Heads? (Richard Spencer/Telegraph)