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World Briefing / France

Disputed bronze heads fetch $18 million apiece

February 26, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Two rare bronze sculptures that disappeared from China in 1860 sold for $18 million each as an auction of art owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge, concluded with total sales of more than $484 million.

The telephone bidder or bidders who bought the disputed bronze fountainheads -- heads of a rat and a rabbit that disappeared from China's summer Imperial Palace -- were not identified.

China had hoped to stop their auction, but on Monday a French judge refused the request.

Berge said he would use a large portion of the proceeds to support AIDS research.

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