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China film mogul says $62m van Gogh buy cheaper than expected
Wang Zhongjun, chairman of the high-powered Huayi Brothers film studio, bought van Gogh's 1890 painting "Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies" for $61.8 million at Sotheby's in New York in November. Speaking at a presentation at the auction house's Hong Kong gallery Wang said the price - a record for a still life painting by the artist - was "a bit lower" than he had been expecting to pay. Wang, who will be hanging the piece at his Hong Kong home, is the latest wealthy Chinese businessman to make an eyebrow-raising art purchase. Forbes Magazine put Wang's net worth at nearly $1 billion, the 268th richest person in China. Last year, tycoon Wang Jianlin's Wanda Group bought the 1950 Pablo Picasso painting "Claude and Paloma" for $28 million, more than double the high estimate of $12 million. At the time, the company came under fire for the extravagant purchase, with some Chinese Internet users questioning Wang's patriotism and the painting's value. Wang Zhongjun came under similar criticism in November. The last great wave of Asian buying came as Japan reached the height of its economic power in the 1980s, culminating in 1990 when Japanese paper tycoon Ryoei Saito bought van Gogh's Portrait of Dr Gachet for $82.5 million and Renoir's Bal du Moulin de la Galette for $78.1 million.

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