Audacious

YSL's Prank Bidder

Admire the gumption: After bidding $40.4 million for two bronze sculptures at Yves Saint Laurent's estate auction, Chinese collector Cai Mingchao has refused to pay up, saying that the sculptures were looted from China. The refusal to pay for political purpose is, according to art experts, a first, and tarnishes Saint Laurent’s record $476 million estate sale. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Cai joins a months-long dispute between Christie's and China over the fate of the bronzes, which are believed to have been looted from Beijing's Imperial Summer Palace when French and British forces attacked in the mid-1800s. The Chinese government challenged the auction in French court and demanded the objects' return, but a French judge ruled the auction could proceed.”