18 February 2019

Painting auctioned for HK$28.75 mln thrown away as rubbish

A painting by Chinese contemporary artist Cui Ruzhou {崔如琢}, valued at millions of dollars, was thrown away by a cleaner by accident on Tuesday, Ming Pao reported on Wednesday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

The landscape painting had been sold to a buyer for HK$28.75 million (US$3.71 million) by Poly Auction (Hong Kong) Ltd., which has seen 2,000 art pieces changing hands for a combined HK$700 million during a recent four-day auction.

Auction staff discovered the loss of the painting as they were packing things up Tuesday. CCTV footage revealed that cleaners entered the storage and might have thrown it away as rubbish, which could have been taken to a landfill site in Tuen Mun, the report said.

No one has been arrested, but police have filed the case as theft while investigations are going on.

The owners should have purchased insurance for the artwork, Paul Law Siu-hung, president of the International Professional Insurance Consulting Association, was quoted as saying.

Premiums for artwork of this level are usually high and are charged annually, Law said. The cleaning company might be liable to pay a large compensation if it is proven that the loss was due to their negligence, he added.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]




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