Remember that rich Chinese art dealer we told you about who phoned in an extremely large fake bid for YSL’s bronze rat and rabbit because they were plundered goods? It was kind of a Punk’d meets Robin Hood moment, and charming in a way that we didn’t think a Christie’s auction was capable of.
No shocker, according to a report on Bloomberg, such renegade antics don’t pay. “Cai Mingchao, the Chinese art dealer who is refusing to pay for the $40 million Qing bronzes he successfully bid for in the Yves Saint Laurent auction, wept when he realized that his credibility was shot and he may now have to close his business.” He’s 40.
And then the news gets sadder: “”This has damaged me: I have lost the business I love,’ said Cai, in his office in the southeastern city of Xiamen. Cai said he had bid with the intention of paying, then had second thoughts and decided it’s wrong to do so.”
Wait, what? That doesn’t sound like Robin Hood. That sounds like a greedy art dealer with buyer’s remorse! What about proving a point Cai? Sticking it to the French? “‘These days,’ said Cai, ‘you can’t even get a loan of 10,000 yuan ($1,289) without pledging your house or car as collateral, and I could just bid on an item worth hundreds of millions of yuan with one phone call.'”
Huh? You had us, and then you lost us. And now you’re starting to sound like our great aunt who spends her days spaced out in front of the Home Shopping Network.
Maybe your motive doesn’t matter to the important people (the Bloomberg piece points out, “the 1995 United Nations Unidroit Convention limits claims on stolen cultural artifacts to within 50 years of their theft”), but we liked you way more before. Now we’d just recommend a spot on Intervention. And possibly disconnecting your cell phone service.