Sarah Thornton makes an interesting claim in the Economist:
WILL Cai Mingchao, the Chinese auctioneer who sabotaged the sale of the Qing Dynasty rat head and rabbit head at Christie’s in Paris last week, still be celebrated as a patriot when it is discovered that one of his two underbidders was planning to give the bronzes to China? [ . . . ]
Now The Economist has discovered that a London-based Chinese businessman who bid up to €12m ($15.1m) on both pieces was attempting to buy one of them as a gift for China. With Mr Cai’s pirate move, however, the controversy has escalated and the bronzes have become too hot to touch.
Too hot because Bergé won’t sell out of pride? Why wouldn’t the same underbidder buy them privately and donate one quietly? Finally, given the Chinese government’s posture, would they accept just one?
Caveat Venditor (Economist)