Art Thrown Out With Trash In Hong Kong (And Not As Meta Commentary On Art)

Snowy Mountain

An expensive work of art was reportedly thrown out with the garbage at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong on Tuesday, and it wasn’t made by Damien Hirst. As Coconuts Hong Kong, SCMP, WSJ, and basically everyone else is reporting, Cui Ruzhuo’s “Snowy Mountain,” pictured above, was sold at auction for HK$28.8 million (US$3.7 million) on Monday, and one day later, police were searching for it among the city’s rubbish.


A police source said officers scrutinising closed-circuit TV footage yesterday saw a security guard kick the packaged artwork over to a pile of rubbish.

Cleaners were then seen disposing of the rubbish, which is believed to have been taken to landfill in Tuen Mun.

The source said police had been to the landfill but could find no trace of the painting.

The hotel is reportedly not responsible for the painting. WSJ adds that the missing work is no longer being considered stolen.

Poly didn’t respond to requests for comment. In a Wednesday statement, police said the painting is now considered “lost property” and is no longer being treated as a theft.

World-renowned artist Damien Hirst once had an expensive work thrown out with the trash. Then again, his work actually was trash — “a collection of half-full coffee cups, ashtrays with cigarette butts, empty beer bottles, a paint-smeared palette, an easel, a ladder, paintbrushes, candy wrappers and newspaper pages strewn about the floor,” as the New York Times reported back in 2001. Snowy Mountain, on the other hand, looks like one heck of a painting. We hope it gets found. Hong Kongers, if you see it lying around: show a bit of appreciation for fine art and rescue it, will you?

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