中文|한국어|日本語
News Hotline:0531-85876663
点击这里给我发消息

Looted 3,000-year-old ‘Tiger Ying’ bronze vessel donated by mysterious buyer returns to China

2018/12/12 11:22:05   source:Global Times

Tiger Ying Photo: Courtesy of SACH

The ceremony held at Beijing's National Museum of China Photo: Courtesy of SACH

A 3,000-year-old "Tiger Ying" bronze vessel that was looted from Beijing's Yuanmingyuan, or Old Summer Palace, by a British soldier during the Second Opium War (1856-60) was returned to China on Tuesday at a ceremony held at Beijing's National Museum of China.

The national-level artifact is now part of the museum's permanent collection.

Dating back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-771BC), the ritual water vessel gets its name from the small tigers that decorate its lid and spout. One of only a few vessels of its kind, the relic is sure to be a valuable resource for academic research into the late Western Zhou's history, art and culture, according to a statement from China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH).

Part of the private collection of the Qing Dynasty court, the vessel was looted by Harry Lewis Evans, a Royal Marines captain who fought in the Second Opium War, as Anglo-French forces ransacked the Old Summer Palace and burnt it to the ground in 1860.

It has been nearly eight months since the vessel went up for auction by the Canterbury Auction Galleries in the UK on April 11 despite objections from the government of China and its vast netizens. Prior to the auction, China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage had been working to have the relic returned to its homeland.

The vessel was purchased at the auction for $581,600 by a mysterious buyer, who later wished to unconditionally donate the bronze to the Chinese government through an email from the auction house on April 28.

Through arrangements made by SACH and the Chinese Embassy in UK, a donation ceremony was held on September 21.

At the ceremony on Tuesday, SACH Director Liu Yuzhu emphasized that looted treasures are important parts of China's cultural heritage and are deeply tied to its history and the Chinese people.

Over the past few decades, nearly 4,000 looted cultural relics have been returned to China through various means.

Related Stories

Photos

Sponsor:Information Office of Shandong Provincial People’s Government