POWER

Is the planet’s savvi­est en­tre­pre­neur of art and cul­ture, writes STEPHEN SHORT

#Legend - - THE SINO FILES -

IT WASN’T SUR­PRIS­ING that auc­tion house Christie’s came to Hong Kong with its Leonardo da Vinci booty a month be­fore the New York auc­tion of Sal­va­tor Mundi for a record-break­ing US$450 mil­lion, fees in­cluded. The strat­egy was to play up the sta­tus and ig­nore the sub­stance, in the hope that one of China’s tycoon types might suc­cumb to the catchy “male Mona Lisa” tagline Christie’s had clev­erly – or crudely – cre­ated. “A col­lec­tor might buy this and even build a mu­seum for it,” said Loïc Gouzer, co-chair­man of post-war and con­tem­po­rary art for the Amer­i­cas for Christie’s, to this writer. “It would be a state­ment not un­like the Lou­vre in Paris and the Mona Lisa. Maybe there’s a tycoon in China we don’t know about who wants to buy and build a mu­seum for it.” Quite.

While that state­ment holds weight and plenty of phys­i­cal ev­i­dence – Shang­hai’s

Long Mu­seum (founded by Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei) and Bei­jing’s M Woods Mu­seum (Lin Han and Wan­wan Lei) a pair of prime ex­am­ples – no one bet­ter rep­re­sents the

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