Tuesday 19 September 2017

Rags-to-riches tycoon splashes $170m on nude

Amadeo's reclining nude
Amadeo's reclining nude

Neill Connor Beijing

He is a taxi driver-turned- tycoon with a reputation for breaking records in his pursuit of priceless works of art for his museum in Shanghai.

But Liu Yiqian has stunned the art world by setting a new benchmark in the incredible buying power of wealthy Chinese investors with his $170m (€158m) purchase of Amedeo Modigliani's Reclining Nude.

It was the second-highest price achieved at auction for a work of art, and a record for the Italian artist.

Mr Liu, who made his €1.4bn fortune through the stock market, has a taste for art.

He bought a 600-year-old imperial embroidered Tibetan tapestry from a Christie's auction in Hong Kong for €42m last November, breaking a record for a Chinese work at an international auction he had set months earlier when he purchased a Ming porcelain cup for €33m.

The sums are part of a trend among China's super-rich to hunt down masterpieces across the world. Wang Jianlin, ranked as China's richest man by Forbes magazine, spent pounds €12.5m on a Monet painting in May, days after media entrepreneur Wang Zhongjun spent €28m on a Picasso.

Mr Liu's telephone bid at Christie's in New York on Monday was only €7m off the record €167m paid for Picasso's The Women of Algiers by an anonymous buyer in May.

Mr Liu says he hopes that ordinary Chinese will be able to share his appreciation for the Modigliani. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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