Snowy Mountain, a delicate ink painting by Chinese artist Cui Ruzhuo that sold for $3.71 million at Poly Culture’s first major auction in Hong Kong on Monday might well have ended up in a landfill, the AFP reports. Poly reported the missing painting to police on Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cleaning staff at the Grand Hyatt hotel, which hosted the event, are suspected to have thrown out the painting, says the South China Morning Post. Yet the possibility of theft hasn’t been discarded. The Telegraph reports that “Hong Kong police are now searching for the “lost property” in a rubbish dump in the city’s northern district of Tuen Mun.”
The Journal notes that Snowy Mountain “was the second-priciest item sold Monday at a special event that featured 28 of Mr. Cui’s ink works. His Landscape in Snow sold for HK$184 million ($23.7 million)—a record auction price for the artist.
Poly is the largest auction house in mainland China and the world’s third-largest after Christie’s and Sotheby’s. It began holding sales in Hong Kong in 2012.
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