Bronze heads sell for $36 million

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Despite China’s efforts to stop the sale of the bronze rat and rabbit heads, looted in 1860 from Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, unidentified phone bidders purchased the sculptures for $18 million each Wednesday night, far exceeding earlier estimates of $10-13 million each. Yves Saint Laurent’s art auction set a record for a private collection, netting $470 million, most of which will be donated to an AIDS charity. So it remains to be seen whether the winning bidder was from China, or has plans to donate the items to China. Two years ago, Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho spent $8.9 million on a bronze horse head, also part of the Old Summer Palace fountain, which he promptly donated to China.

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