Apr 10, 2014

Snowy Mountain painting 'thrown out by cleaners' sold for $3.7m

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The artwork was reported missing this week by auctioneers in Hong Kong – and the finger was pointed at cleaning staff
Hong Kong
The painting was auctioned in Hong Kong this week. Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

A painting auctioned for HK$28.8M ($3.7 million) two days ago has gone missing, with media reports suggesting cleaners may have inadvertently thrown out the artwork.

The 2012 painting Snowy Mountain, by Chinese artist Cui Ruzhuo, was reported missing by auctioneers Poly Auction on Tuesday afternoon after the auction on Monday, police said.

Ming Pao newspaper reported that police had checked CCTV footage at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where the auction took place, which showed cleaners removing the painting. That raised fears the painting had been sent out with the rubbish to the city's landfill.

Poly Auction was not immediately available for comment. Gladis Young, the director of communications at the Grand Hyatt hotel, said hotel staff were not involved because organisers of events involving valuable items usually hired external staff to deal with security and handling goods.