An ancient Tibetan silk tapestry has set a world record for Chinese art.
The 600-year-old artwork, called a thangka and embroidered in vivid hues of red and gold, was sold to a Shanghai tycoon for US$45 million (HK$348 million) at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong.
Liu Yiqian bought the piece on Wednesday and will display it at his new museum in Shanghai, the auction house said.
“I am proud to bring back to China this significant and historic 15th century thangka, which will be preserved in the Long museum for years to come,” he was quoted as saying in a Christie’s press release Thursday.
The sale broke the world record for a Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.
The piece — which depicts the meditational diety Raktayamari, known as the Red Conqueror of Death, standing stride a buffalo — was created during the Ming dynasty between 1402 and 1424.
It is one of a set of three thangkas from the Jokhang Monastery in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, Christie’s said.
In April, Liu bought a Ming Dynasty wine cup in Hong Kong for US$36.05 million. It broke the world auction record for Chinese porcelain.
A taxi driver-turned-financier, Liu, 50, is one of China’s wealthiest men, worth an estimated US$1.6 billion, AFP reported.
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