4.26.2013

Pinault Offers China ... Gift?

France’s Pinault family wins Beijing’s praise with offer to donate looted Qing dynasty bronzes - The Washington Post:
The family that runs French luxury-goods conglomerate Kering won plaudits from Beijing on Friday for offering to return a pair of looted Qing dynasty bronzes at the heart of a Chinese campaign to overcome the legacy of bullying by foreign powers.
Okay, first the YSL sculptures were from the Summer Palace, which was looted in 1860 during the Boxer Rebellion but ... that fountain was dismantled around 1840 on the orders of the empress of the Daoguang Emperor, and sold off along with many other items from the Palaces no longer deemed to be to her taste (see p. 94 here for more on the story).

Oddly Christie's the auction house that sold the YSL bronzes in 2009 was "punished" by China at the time, but wants to expand there ... ditto the various luxury brands owned by the same man who owns Christies - Gucci, YSL etc. I'll give you a clue: the Kering Group used to be named Pinault-Printemps-Redoute ... Hmmmm

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