HONG KONG - Celebrities led by entertainer Eric Tsang saved the late Anita Mui's award trophies from landing in other people's hands at a controversial auction of her belongings.
The 67 trophies were won by the Anita Mui International Fan Club, with bids totalling HK$1.01 million (S$162,000) at last Saturday's auction in Hong Kong.
Tsang last Saturday revealed he had tasked Selina So, who chairs the fan club, to bid for the awards at all costs after talking to Mui's friends such as singer Jacky Cheung and actor Michael Miu and her proteges, including singer William So.
''Awards are an artist's dignity and can't be left to outsiders,'' said Tsang in telephone interviews with the media. He is also chairman of the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild.
The sale by Mui's estate executors had drawn objections from her friends and mother for being disrespectful to the singer and for the items' low pre-sale estimates of HK$500.
The trophies, sold in five lots, included Mui's Best Actress awards won at events such as the Golden Horse Awards. Tsang said he hoped to exhibit them in December on the 10th anniversary of the singer's death.
All but four of the 405 lots were sold at the eight-hour sale, attended by about 100 people. It raised some HK$5.31 million.
The top lot was Mui's 11 platinum and gold records, which were also coveted by Tsang, but went to a male fan for HK$600,000. The fan said he had bid as no one else was bidding for it.
Calligraphy written by actor Andy Lau sold for HK$440,000 and Mui's qipao costume worn at a 2002 concert went for HK$220,000. Mainland fans won her bed for HK$12,000.
Apple Daily said her fans dominated the sale and cheered whenever a fan landed a successful bid. The sale was held reportedly to finance lawsuits between the singer's mother and her estate administrator.
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