Saturday, 29 July 2017

Why Genghis Khan's Tomb Can't Be Found by By Erin Craig

Genghis Khan (known in Mongolia as Chinggis Khaan) once ruled everything between the Pacific Ocean and the Caspian Sea. Upon his death he asked to be buried in secret. A grieving army carried his body home, killing anyone it met to hide the route. When the emperor was finally laid to rest, his soldiers rode 1,000 horses over his grave to destroy any remaining trace.
In the 800 years since Genghis Khan’s death, no-one has found his tomb.

A possible lead in a forbidden location

Folklore holds that Genghis Khan was buried on a peak in the Khentii Mountains called Burkhan Khaldun, roughly 160km north-east of Ulaanbaatar. He had hidden from enemies on that mountain as a young man and pledged to return there in death. Yet there’s dissent among scholars as to precisely where on the mountain he’d be ‒ if at all.

“It is a sacred mountain,” acknowledged Dr Sodnom Tsolmon, professor of history at Ulaanbaatar State University with an expertise in 13th-Century Mongolian history. “It doesn’t mean he’s buried there.”Scholars use historical accounts to puzzle out the location of Genghis Khan’s tomb. Yet the pictures they create are often contradictory. The 1,000 running horses indicate a valley or plain, as at the Xiongnu graveyard. Yet his pledge pins it to a mountain. To complicate matters further, Mongolian ethnologist S Badamkhatan identified five mountains historically called Burkhan Khaldun (though he concluded that the modern Burkhan Khaldun is probably correct).

Honouring a warrior’s final wish

With the tomb seemingly out of reach, why does it remain such a controversial issue in Mongolia?
Genghis Khan is simply Mongolia’s greatest hero. The West recalls only what he conquered, but Mongolians remember what he created. His empire connected East and West, allowing the Silk Road to flourish. His rule enshrined the concepts of diplomatic immunity and religious freedom. He established a reliable postal service and the use of paper money. Genghis Khan didn’t just conquer the world, he civilised it.

The full article is available at the link below:

Saturday, 15 July 2017

China Bans Looted Antiques from Going Under Hammer at Mainland Auction Houses by Nectar Gan

China has banned the auction of antiques looted from the country throughout history in its latest regulation on cultural relic auctions. The document, issued by the State Administration on Cultural Heritage on October 20 and released on its website on Monday, stated that all cultural relics that were stolen, illegally unearthed, smuggled or looted from China would be banned from being auctioned in the country.
It also said the Chinese government had priority in buying precious antiques. According to the regulation, the administration can appoint state-owned relic collection agencies to procure such pieces from their consignors at an agreed price. Those artefacts would no longer be accepted for auction.
The new regulation replaces a temporary rule on the auction of cultural relics that the administration issued in 2003, which banned the auction of antiques “with disputes regarding their right of disposition”.
The new version replaced that clause with much stronger wording that explicitly bans the auction of “historically looted Chinese relics”.
Internet commenters were quick to point out that the regulation applies only to auction houses on mainland China, while most valuable Chinese antiques are sold in overseas markets, such London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, about 1.67 million Chinese relics are housed in more than 200 museums across 47 countries.
The Chinese Cultural Relics Society said China had lost more than 10 million antiques since 1840 due to wartime looting and illegal excavations.
China has in the past resorted to bidding in overseas markets to recover its lost national treasures.
In 2000, the Poly Art Museum, owned by the state-owned Poly Group, won the bidding at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions in Hong Kong for three bronze heads looted from the old Summer Palace in Beijing by British and French troops in 1960.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Want FREE Advice/Opinion on Your Collection?

Dear readers, 

We've had collectors contacting us from time to time seeking our opinion on their private collection. As such,  I'm pleased to announce that we recently created a group called Chinese Ceramics and Collectibles Forum with the sole purpose of sharing photos, ideas and opinions. All you have to do is:
1. Join Chinese Ceramics and Collectibles Forum.
2. Wait for request to be approved.
3. Upload photos.

So, if you or any of your family or friends are seeking FREE opinion or advice on their collection, pls feel free to share this with them. 


May Naik

A $100 Million Mystery: A Russian, His Art, and His Big Losses By Katya Kazakina and Hugo Miller

It was meant to be one of the world’s top collections of 20th century art, anchored by Amedeo Modigliani nudes and Claude Monet water lilies.
But two years after Dmitry Rybolovlev sued his dealer, alleging he was overcharged by as much as $1 billion, the Russian fertilizer magnate is unloading works he acquired at often record prices. He has already sold three for a loss totaling an estimated $100 million, and is offering five more at Christie’s auctions in London starting next week, some for a fraction of their purchase prices.
Rybolovlev—whose fortune totals about $9.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index—invested about $2 billion in 38 works, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. They were procured privately by Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, better known for creating a network of tax-free art storage warehouses in Singapore and Luxembourg.
Rybolovlev was among new buyers from Russia, China and other emerging economies who drove an unprecedented expansion of the art market in the past decade. Booming wealth created a network of collectors hungry for trophies by top modern and contemporary Western artists and willing to pay almost anything. Between 2003—the year Rybolovlev met Bouvier—and 2014, global sales more than tripled to $68 billion.
Since then, the market has contracted, and some of the art world’s most expensive pieces have been resold for less than their purchase price, mired in lawsuits and investigations.
Two Rybolovlev trusts in the British Virgin Islands recouped “less than $50 million” when the Russian sold Paul Gauguin’s “Otahi,” according to court papers they filed in New York. That’s about 60 percent below the $120 million Rybolovlev paid. In November 2015, he sold Gustav Klimt’s “Wasserschlangen II” for $170 million, down from the $183.8 million purchase price. In May 2016, his Auguste Rodin sculpture, “L’Eternel Printemps,” fetched $20.4 million, an auction record for the artist but less than a half the $48.1 million he paid.

* For the full story, pls go to: