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Auction of fountainheads proceeds over objections

February 24, 2009|Associated Press

A French judge refused Monday to halt the sale of disputed Chinese bronze fountainheads heading for Christie's auction block as part of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent's estate.

The judge ordered APACE, the China-linked group that sought to prevent the sale, to pay $1,000 in fines to the auction house and to the firm of Pierre Berge, the longtime partner of the French fashion icon.

Although APACE acknowledged that Saint Laurent acquired the bronze heads of a rabbit and a rat legally, it said they originally had been stolen from the summer Imperial Palace on the outskirts of Beijing when French and British forces sacked it at the close of the second Opium War in 1860.

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