AUCTION BLOCK

Christie's Chaos in China

Chinese auctioneer Cai Mingchao sabotaged Christie's Yves Saint Laurent auction last month—and he may loose his career because of it. Mingchao won a pair of Qing bronzes that were plundered by the French for $40 million, but has now announced that he's refusing to pay for them out of political protest. While many Chinese are praising him, Mingchao is being scorned in the art world, where defaulting at auction is condemned, and may have to close his business as a result. If only he knew that one of his underbidders was planning to give one of the bronzes back to China. "This has damaged me," Mingchao told Bloomberg. "I have lost the business that I love."