Cai Mingchao finds some art he’ll pay for


The Beijing News
May 11, 2009

In March, when Cai Mingchao refused to make good on his winning bid on the two bronze animal heads taken from the Old Summer Palace, there was quite a bit of speculation as to whether that meant the end of his career as an art dealer.

Apparently the damage to Cai’s reputation caused by reneging on the 31.49 million euro purchase was not fatal enough to put him out of business. According to The Beijing News, in Beijing yesterday, Cai submitted the winning bid for a painting entitled Nanniwan, for which he will pay a total of 13.44 million yuan (including a 12% commission). According to the report, Cai said that unlike his winning bid on the bronze heads, “this time the payment and shipment will be done in a week”.

Created by Ji Zhilin in the 60s, the painting Nanniwan is a representation of the communist army during the era of the Anti-Japanese War, and was originally in the collection of the People’s Revolution Military Museum, but was later returned to the artist. Between 1940 and 1943, facing a Nationalist government-generated shortage of supplies, army units in Yan’an were directed to begin agricultural production and rudimentary manufacturing. Among them, the 359th Brigade of the Eighth Route Army stationed in Nanniwan was made a model.

The newspaper’s top headline concerns “China’s first suspected Influenza A case”. According to the report, a 30-year-old man showing the symptoms of the disease had been studying in America. On May 7, he flew from St. Louis to Tokyo. On May 8, he arrived in Beijing and took another flight to Chengdu. Initial medical tests revealed the presence of the A/H1N1 virus. The man is now in quarantine at the Chengdu Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Forty-five of the 150 travelers who were on the same flight with the patient have been located and are currently under medical observation.

One day away from the one year anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake, the newspaper ran a big cover photo today showing quake survivors holding memorial ceremonies amidst the rubble for their lost relatives. The smaller photo shows Yao Ming grimacing in pain. Yao, who suffered a broken left foot, will miss rest of the NBA Playoffs.

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