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New record price set for Chinese paintings

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HONG KONG, Nov 27, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- An unknown collector has paid 53.8 million Hong Kong dollars ($6.92 million) for a 1920s oil painting by renowned Chinese artist Xu Beihong.

The purchase, at the Christie's autumn auction in Hong Kong, has set a new record price for Chinese oil paintings, the China Daily reported Monday.

Beihong's "Slave and Lion" attracted bids from buyers from around the world.

"Slave and Lion" depicts the story of a slave, Androcles, who helps a lion to remove a thorn from its paw. The slave later runs into the same lion in a human-animal battle game staged in a Rome theatre. The emperor is moved by the reunion, and frees the slave.

The previous record price paid for a Chinese oil painting was 30 million yuan ($3.82 million) for another of Xu's oil paintings, "Silly Old Man Moves a Mountain," sold in Beijing five months ago.

The Christie's auction included around 2,500 classical and modern paintings, luxury watches, jewelry and ceramics, predominantly from around Hong Kong.


Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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