It was bought by self-made multimillionaire Liu Yiqian for his museum in Shanghai. Liu isn't all that rich, worth a mere $900-million, not even a billionaire, and only the 200th richest man in China, yet apparently rich enough to pay $36-million for a cup. He was bemused by the fuss over the purchase. "Why do you all care so much about the price?" he asked, "I bought it only because I like it."
While not wanting to begrudge Liu his riches (he made his money in the stock market), there is something vaguely obscene about paying millions for a cup, even a Ming Dynasty cup, when many on the planet would be grateful for the rice to fill it.