Thursday, December 30, 2010
An auction of art works by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge in February have made the Chinese mad. Two rare bronze sculptures (heads of a rat and a rabbit) of Yuanmingyuan or the Old Summer Palace were stolen by the British and the French during the Second Opium War in 1860. These two items were sold to anonymous telephone bidders for 14 million euros. While a French judge refused a request to halt the sale of the artifacts, Christie’s refused to identify the bidders. This auction had made both the Chinese government and the Chinese people furious because the auction will encourage people to steal and illegally sell cultural items. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) in China imposed limits on what the auction house can take in or out of China (Renmin Ribao). From now on, the Christie’s House in China will have a difficult time conducting business. On 2 March 2009, a Chinese collector Cai Mingchao announced that he got the bid of these two Chinese treasures, but he refused to pay $40.6 million to Yves Saint Laurent by saying, “I believe that any Chinese person would stand up at this time….. But I must stress that this money I cannot pay (Japan Times).”
After growing up and studying in China and Japan, Dr. Suganuma went to the U.S. for graduate studies, earning master’s degrees at both St. John's University (in Chinese studies) and Syracuse University (in international relations) as well as a Ph.D. (in geography) from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.