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China Buying Spree, Record Painting Boost $54.9 Million Sale

A painting by Zhang Xiaogang set an auction record for a work by a contemporary Chinese artist last night as Asian buyers competed at a HK$427.2 million ($54.9 million) sale by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.

Zhang’s triptych “Forever Lasting Love” fetched HK$79 million with fees, more than double a hammer-price estimate of as much as HK$30 million, with the anonymous winning bid taken by telephone from Miety Heiden of Sotheby’s, New York. It was the top lot of 105 offered by Guy Ullens, founder of Beijing’s largest private art museum, with a $16.7 million total estimate.