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Ancient Chinese letter sells at Beijing auction for €27 million

A film mogul splashed out a record amount of money for the letter, which is 124 characters long.

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A Chinese film tycoon has spent a record €27 million on an ancient letter written nearly 1,000 years ago.

The letter, which is just 124 characters long, was auctioned for 207 million yuan in Beijing this week, Chinese media reported.

The 936-year-old letter, entitled Jushi Tie, was penned in 1080 by Zeng Gong, a politician, to a friend he hadn’t seen in three years.

In it, the 61-year-old expressed gratitude for his friend’s lifelong support and expressed anxiety about not being able to serve in the royal court of the day.

The CEO of Chinese film propduction company, Huayi Brothers, Wang Zhongjun, won the bid for the letter at a China Guardian Auction on Sunday.

It’s not Wang’s first expensive purchase – in 2014 he purchased a Vincent van Gogh painting, ‘Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies’ for a record $62 million (€54.6 million).

Later, he said the Van Gogh was “a bit lower” than he had been expecting to pay.

“I like it, it’s not a matter of price, it’s like I didn’t spend money, it hangs on the wall and it belongs to me,” he said at the time.

With reporting from AFP

Read: Auction appears hijacked as “Racist McShootFace” bids $65m for gun that killed Trayvon Martin

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