The man who allegedly bid over 15 million euros to buy two bronze sculptures that caused such a tizzy in China over the last week has no intention on paying for them, according to the BBC.
Cai Mingchao, a well-known art buyer and advisor to China’s National Treasures Fund said his bid was an act of patriotism. But he made clear that there was no way he was actually going to hand over money for the two relics, looted from the Summer Palace in the 19th century.
“What I want to stress is that this money cannot be paid,” Mr Cai told a news conference.
“I believe that any Chinese person would stand up at this time… I am making an effort to fulfil my own responsibilities,” he said in a statement released by the Fund.
“But I must stress that I do not have the money to pay for this,” he said.
The punishment for delivering a false bid probably won’t be too harsh, said the Times UK. Cai might lose some respect in the art world and his next bid will probably be viewed with suspicion (especially if it’s over a “stolen Chinese artifact”), but Christie’s is unlikely to sue.
In cases where people bid past their ability to pay, Christie’s tends to just hand the items to the underbidder. Wouldn’t it be funny if that person turned out to be a Chinese patriot too?