People are mad at Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian and the reason may shock you.
This wealthy individual decided to splash the cash a few days ago, spending a whopping $36 million for a 500-year-old artifact.
The “chicken cup” as it’s known, is one of a few precious porcelain cups that remain from the Ming Dynasty.
The cup earned its name from the image of a cockerel, hen, and chicks painted onto it.
This item is considered the Chinese equivalent of the holy grail.
Naturally, when a man dares to drink from such a rare and highly revered item, it’s going to cause some major backlash.
— ArtSocket (@artsocket) July 21, 2014
Liu seemed oblivious to the possible negative response. He said, “Emperor Qianlong has used it, now I’ve used it.”
While that may come off as particularly conceited, Liu insisted that it was “a simple thing”.
A Sotheby’s staff member had prepared tea for Liu. It occurred to Liu that it would be a unique and wonderful experience if he were to enjoy his beverage from the multimillion dollar cup.
“[I] excitedly poured some of that tea into the cup and drank a little...what is so crazy about that?”
— Juanita Ng (@JuanitaNg) July 25, 2014
What’s crazy, in the mind of the disapproving bystanders, is that anyone would want to “desecrate” such a sacred artifact. One so rare that what few survived the Ming dynasty are locked away in museums.
Said one angry commenter, “No people who are civilized would treat a cultural treasure like this. No wonder Chinese people are looked down on by other countries’ citizens.”
However anyone feels about what Liu has done, one unshakable fact remains: He owns the artifact. It is his chicken cup and NOBODY else’s.
The record setting Chicken Cup, which sold for $36 million in April, is presented to its new owner Mr Liu Yiqian pic.twitter.com/4hhAykdBQq
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) July 18, 2014
Having paid the price of a small country to own the rare item, wouldn’t it be fair to say he should be able to use it accordingly?
Well, the debate certainly rages on when it comes to major historical items and the reality of private ownership.
Should Liu Yiqian have left the chicken cup as is or is he right to drink out of an item he rightfully owns? Comment below!
Image via YouTube