By Kate Ray
The partner of late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent said he will return two bronze animal heads that were looted from China – if the government agrees to grant freedom to Tibet.
The heads were two of twelve zodiac animal sculptures that were originally a part of a water fountain at Beijing’s Summer Palace, but were taken from the country during the Second Opium War in 1860. The Chinese government has demanded that they be returned.
Pierre Berge, who plans to sell the heads Monday as part of the Yves Saint Laurent art collection, insisted that because he obtained the pieces legally he isn’t obligated to return them. He’s said he will anyway, but only for a pretty high price.
“All [the Chinese government has] to do is…give the Tibetans back their freedom,” Berge said. “If they do that, I would be very happy to go myself and bring these two Chinese heads to put them in the Summer Palace in Beijing. It’s obviously blackmail but I accept that.”
Terracotta soldier for Taiwan, anyone?