"Silly Old Man Moves a Mountain" - painting sold in China for record price

"Silly Old Man Moves a Mountain" by Xu Beihong was bought by a Chinese collector at an auction in Beijing on Sunday, the China Daily newspaper said.

The previous record price of $3.5 million was set in April at a Hong Kong auction of a painting by Paris-based Chinese artist San Yu, the China Daily said.

Xu's "Silly Old Man" depicts a Chinese folk tale about a man who devotes his life to digging away a mountain that blocks his access to the outside world. The story, known in Chinese as "Yu Gong Yi Shan," is often cited as an example of perseverance, according to the AP.

Xu painted the work while visiting Singapore, the China Daily said. It said he hid the painting in a well at a Singapore school following the Japanese invasion of the Southeast Asian island in 1941 and later gave it to the school's headmaster. The work changed hands several times before being put up for sale in Beijing by a Taiwanese collector, the report said.

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