The "Impossible Black Tulip"

No wonder Matteo Ricci was revered in China. This map he created more than 400 years ago showed the world with China at its centre.

The map, nicknamed the "Impossible Black Tulip of Cartography" because of its rarity, is the second most expensive map in the world. It was bought by James Ford Bell Trust in October last year for USD 1 million.

Talking about the second most expensive, I recently learned that the second most expensive painting ever is "Woman III" by Willem de Kooning. It was sold in 2006 for USD137.5 million - 30 percent more expensive than the most valuable Picasso and almost twice as much as the highest-priced Monet.

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