Chinese Auction House Cancels Mao Portrait Bidding

A portrait of Mao Zedong, communist founding leader of the People's Republic of China, will be spared the capitalist treatment of being sold under an auctioneer's hammer.

The original model for the Mao painting that still overlooks Tiananmen Square in Beijing was to be auctioned June third and had been expected to fetch as much as 150-thousand dollars.

But the auction house said Friday it has canceled the sale because of public outcry on the Internet. The auction house says the foreign collector who owns the portrait is now in consultations with Chinese museums about donating the piece.

The painting is known as a "mother copy," duplicated by artists who painted the communist leader's portraits for display. The smaller, original version never hung on Tiananmen Gate.

Mao ruled China from 1949 until his death in 1976.