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Good News for Games Memorabilia Hunters
    2008-08-28 07:42:03     China Daily

NBA star Yao Ming's 2.6-m-long bed in the Olympic Village [Photo: cctv.com]

If you are interested in something related to the Olympic Games, you could go in for NBA star Yao Ming's bed or the ancient Chinese drums used in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Media reports say Yao's 2.6-m-long bed in the Olympic Village could fetch up to 2 million yuan ($292,000).

The drums, called fou, however, could come cheaper and definitely easier to get because there are 2,008 of them, and as many umbrellas, each of which comes with a smiling face.

More than 20 million Games memorabilia will soon be put under the hammer, and anybody can bid for them. The auction is estimated to fetch about 1 billion yuan ($146 million).

Information on the auction will be posted on China Beijing Equity Exchange's (CBEX) website (www.cbex.com.cn) soon.

A CBEX manager yesterday said the Beijing Olympics organizing committee (BOCOG) has authorized it to sell the items after Sept 17, that is, after the end of the Paralympic Games.

On some popular auction websites, the bidding for star athletes' belongings has already heated up. The bid for the pair of sneakers men's badminton gold medallist Lin Dan threw into the crowd has risen to 3 million yuan ($439,000).

And the signatures of Yang Wei, who won the men's all-around gymnastics gold, and his teammates are going for 10,000 yuan on taobao.com.

The CBEX manager said: "Every piece of item listed online (for the official auction) will have an accompanying photograph and the contact number of its 'keeper'."

This is not the first time that Games organizers are auctioning such memorabilia but it is definitely the biggest.

Furniture and fixtures, timepieces, light bulbs and a variety of sport equipment, too, will be put under the hammer. And it could take up to two years to auction them all, CBEX president Xiong Yan said.

On Aug 5, in the first stage, the CBEX auctioned off 1,470 pieces of furniture and devices for 23,000 yuan, almost five times the estimated price.

The money raised from the auctions will go to the BOCOG, which has not yet announced what it intends to do with it.

The items to be auctioned include a sedan used by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge.


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