A Shanghai tycoon, Liu Yiqian splashed out HK$348 million ($45 million) on ancient Tibetan silk tapestry at Christie’s auction in Hong Kong, and thus broke the record for the most expensive Chinese work of art he set in April. Called Thangka, the tapestry is the 600-year-old artwork embroidered in vivid hues of red and gold which depicts Buddhist deities. It is one of a set of three thangkas from the Jokhang Monastery in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
It will be on display at Liu’s new museum in Shanghai, along with Chengua-era ceramic cup – nicknamed the Chicken Cup for its imperial allegorical depiction using poultry. Chinese billionaire paid HK$214 million ($27,6 million) for this cup at Sotheby’s auction in April.
“I am proud to bring back to China this significant and historic 15th century thangka which will be preserved in the Long Museum for years to come,” he said by phone according to a Christie’s press release.