A black T-shirt worn by Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), one of the student leaders of the Sunflower movement against the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement, was sold for NT$26,676,666 (US$886,900) in an online auction yesterday afternoon.
The seller of the T-shirt said in the eventuality of the winning bidder deciding to cancel the sale, he would open a new auction for the item.
Chen took off the shirt and threw it toward a large crowd of participants at a public forum outside the Legislative Yuan at midnight on Wednesday, hours before he led the scores of students who had occupied the legislative chamber since March 18 to exit the building.
The person who caught the shirt subsequently put it up for auction on Ruten.com (露天拍賣) with a starting price of NT$1.
The description of the T-shirt on the Web site read: “Bear-hugging Wei-ting, the soul figure of the Sunflower movement, may not have as many fans as his partner, green coat-clad Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆).”
“Yet his animal magnetism and his innocence while sleeping have surely lured away the hearts of many young men and women, especially those who are in favor of same-sex marriage,” the description said.
The description was in referrence to an undated photograph of Chen hugging a stuffed bear while sleeping on the floor of the legislative chamber, as well as to a green coat that Lin usually wore when he appeared in front of the cameras.
“The money from the sale of the shirt will be donated to the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan to ensure that democracy will continue to thrive in the nation,” the description said.
“But part of it will have to go to the host of the forum as a ‘kickback’ to allow him to buy a bottle of beer and a piece of fried chicken,” it added.