Chinese Art Dealer Weeps After Refusing to Pay for YSL Bronzes

March 10 (Bloomberg) — Cai Mingchao, the Chinese art dealer who is refusing to pay for $40 million Qing bronzes he successfully bid for in the Yves Saint Laurent auction, said he wept when he realized that his credibility was shot and he may now have to close his business.

Cai, 44, spoke in an interview after turning away hundreds of calls from reporters about the Feb. 25 sale. He was praised in China for walking away from the bronzes, which were plundered by foreign troops, and has been condemned by other dealers. In the world of high-end art sales, where millions of dollars worth of items may sell on the basis of a phone call or handshake, defaulting is seen as unprofessional.

Are the other dealers who condemned him sour grapes? I failed to see how could one public controversy case damage his reputation.

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