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Ming-era 'chicken cup' breaks record for Chinese porcelain

A rare Ming-era wine cup broke the world auction record for any Chinese porcelain on Tuesday, selling in Hong Kong for $36.05 million to Shanghai tycoon Liu Yiqian, Sotheby's auction house said. The tiny white porcelain cup, decorated with a colour painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, was made during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 and 1487.

Germany, heir reach accord on Nazi-looted art stash

The heir of a Nazi-era art dealer said Monday he had struck an accord with the German government setting a one-year deadline on provenance research for his vast hoard of paintings. The agreement more than two years after their shock discovery in a customs probe means that Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, will likely get back many of the hundreds of artworks that were seized by German authorities.

Artistic licence: Ghana's film posters win fans

Oko Afutu knows exactly what will get people flocking into theatres to watch the British horror film "Dog Soldiers": a poster showing a werewolf biting off a man's head. From his front porch in a suburb of Ghana's capital, Afutu spends his days painting garish movie posters for the films that show at movie theatres around Accra. Each poster Afutu paints earns him about $56 (40 euros, 34 pounds).

Chinese 'chicken cup' could sell for record $38 mn

A rare Ming-era Chinese wine cup, one of only 19 known to exist, could fetch a record $38 million or more when it goes under the hammer in Hong Kong next week, auctioneers said Saturday. The small white porcelain cup, decorated with a colour painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, was made during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 to 1487, Sotheby's auction house said. It could sell for an estimated HK$300 million ($38.68 million) or more on Tuesday, deputy chairman for Sotheby's Asia Nicolas Chow said.

US lawsuit targets Swiss expert over $7.2 mln 'Rothko'

A Las Vegas billionaire is suing a respected Swiss curator accused of standing behind the authenticity of a painting purportedly by American artist Mark Rothko which turned out to be fake. Several people are accused over the "Untitled (Orange, Red and Blue)" that Frank Fertitta III paid $7.2 million for in 2008 from the Knoedler gallery in New York. The gallery has since closed after it was found to be selling dozens of forgeries of several painters.

Italian retiree 'happy' to have lived with stolen Gauguin

The retired autoworker who unknowingly bought stolen paintings worth millions of euros by Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard and hung them in his kitchen for 40 years said he was "proud" of his taste in art. "As a simple factory worker, I am proud of having been able to appreciate and buy two masterpieces even though I did not know what they were," the 70-year-old Italian man was quoted by the La Stampa daily as saying Thursday.

Italian retiree 'happy' to have lived with stolen Gauguin

The retired autoworker who unknowingly bought stolen paintings worth millions of euros by Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard and hung them in his kitchen for 40 years said he was "proud" of his taste in art. "As a simple factory worker, I am proud of having been able to appreciate and buy two masterpieces even though I did not know what they were," the 70-year-old Italian man was quoted by the La Stampa daily as saying Thursday.

France sends China $1 billion worth of art

The last of 10 artistic masterpieces from France arrived under heavy security in China on Thursday, for a show featuring a billion dollars' worth of art. The exhibition at Beijing's National Museum will include Auguste Renoir's masterpiece "Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette", normally kept at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Among the other renowned canvases in the ten-picture show are Pablo Picasso's "Matador" and Hyacinthe Rigaud's full-length portrait of king Louis XIV, from the Palace of Versailles.

N.Y. restaurant's fragile Picasso fate hangs in court

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - The question of whether a fragile Picasso painting that covers a wall in New York City's Four Seasons Restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow repairs went before a state court judge on Wednesday. The dispute between the restaurant's landlord and the painting's owner takes place in a grand setting: Midtown Manhattan's Seagram Building, the landmark International Style tower designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that opened in 1958.

New Ai Weiwei exhibition unveiled in Berlin but artist can't attend

By Sarah Marsh BERLIN (Reuters) - Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's biggest solo show, featuring a reproduction of the white cell where he was held for 81 days by Chinese authorities, was unveiled on Wednesday in Berlin without Ai in attendance because the government still has his passport. "Ai Weiwei - Evidence", which sprawls through 18 rooms at the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum, is a deeply political exhibition of his conceptual art. It opens on Thursday, exactly three years after he was arrested and held in detention.
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