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Christie’s drops Chinese chateau names poster

Christie’s China has decided not to go ahead with its controversial poster of chateau names in Chinese.

Tam: ‘continue to develop a common language’

In a short statement from the Hong Kong office of the international auction house, Christie’s said the poster had been designed to strengthen links between Bordeaux and China but was having the opposite effect.

‘Our initiative, the 1855 translation is intended to bring Bordeaux closer to China. Regrettably, it also caused confusion in the market place. We will not proceed at this stage with the production of the poster and we will continue to develop a common language for China with our friends in Bordeaux.’

The poster was the brainchild of Christie’s head of wine for China, Simon Tam, who produced translations of all but a handful of the 61 chateaux of the 1855 Classification.

But he had not reckoned with the complexities of the Chinese trademark system, and the fact that many chateaux were in the middle of the registration process and objected to translations being published prematurely.

Other chateaux took issue with the fact that the name they had approved appeared too complicated on the poster due to the addition of the word ‘chateau’, making it two or three characters longer.

Tam had ordered 500 of the posters, A0 size, to be printed for distribution around the chateaux for the en primeur tastings this April.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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