Mao portrait auction cancelled after criticism
Updated: 2006-05-26 14:39
A portrait of China's founding father Chairman Mao won't
be under the auctioneer's hammer after all.
Workers display the
portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong at an auction preview in Beijing May 17,
Following a public outcry, an
auction house on Friday called off the sale of a painting of Mao Zedong used as
a model for portraits hung overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square in the 1950s
The announcement of the planned June 3 sale set off a wave of criticism on
Web sites who called it disrespectful to Chairman Mao.
The sale was canceled, Beijing Huachen Auctions said on its Web site. It said
the foreign collector who owns the portrait was "discussing a donation with
The auction house said it expected the 91-by-68-centimeter (36-by-27-inch)
painting to sell for 1-1.2 million yuan (US$120,000-US$150,000;
The picture, known as a "mother copy," was used by artists who painted Mao
portraits hung on the Tiananmen Gate, which overlooks the square. The auction
house said the original was never displayed on the gate, while copies that did
have been lost.
Newly rich Chinese collectors pay high prices for such political