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Liu Yiqian cup cost $36.6 million: One sip from national treasure sparks uproar

Liu Yiqian cup cost $36.6 million and when he sipped from it, social networks in China lit up in protest.
Liu Yiqian cup cost $36.6 million and when he sipped from it, social networks in China lit up in protest.

Liu Yiqian purchased a rare cup from an auction, spending $36.6 million when the dust settled after a seven-minute bidding war. This small 500-year-old cup is considered somewhat sacred to the Chinese people, who were in an uproar when a picture was posted online showing Liu Yiqian sipping from the cup, according to News Max on July 27.

The cup, which is called a "chicken cup," features a cockerel, a hen and their chicks, which is the decoration on the cup. It is one of only 19 that has survived through the Ming Dynasty, so it is a very rare and special piece, especially to the people of China, reports the Mail Online.

Liu purchased the cup at an auction held by Sotheby's in Hong Kong and when it came time for pictures, he thought it would be cool to pour a little tea and sip from the cup that he just spent a fortune on. This didn't hold true for many of the Chinese people who took to the social media calling Liu anything but cool. He was called an "embarrassment" to the Chinese people.

"No people who are civilized would treat a cultural treasure like this. No wonder Chinese people are looked down on by other countries' citizens," one commenter said. Many mirrored the same sentiments after seeing the picture of Liu's celebratory sip from the cup.

While the majority of the comments condemned his actions of sipping from the Chinese treasure, some did come to his defense saying that he had every right to sip from the cup after dropping over $36 million to own it!

Liu himself was shocked by the backlash saying that it happened as he was paying for the cup. He was handed some tea and he poured a little into the cup and drank a little. He said "Such a simple thing - What's so crazy about that?"

On a side note; Liu paid for his cup with American Express and he had to swipe the card 24 times due to the company's set maximum charges on single transactions. He also earned enough points with that purchase to convert the points into 28 million frequent flyer miles or get $180,000 cash back. Now that's one shopping trip!

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