Dutch collector puts conditions on stolen Buddha statue's return to China

Updated: 2015-12-08 17:12


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Dutch collector puts conditions on stolen Buddha statue's return to China

(From left to right) Chinese delegates Lai Shuilian, Chen Yueping, Fu Bin,Liu Wenjian, Li Zhen, You Dengta, Wu Liujin and Lin Guozhang appeal for the return of the mummified Buddha in front of the Dutch Embassy in Hungary on April 13. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The statue grabbed global attention this February after a scan revealed that it contained the mummified remains of a Buddhist monk. It was part of the Mummy World Exhibition at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest, which had planned to display it until May.

In March, after seeing picture of the statue, residents of Yangchun pointed out its resemblance to the one that was stolen in 1995. Evidence has been presented by the Fujian Administration of Cultural Heritage suggesting the stolen statue is the one shown in Budapest.

Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage said later that it would communicate with the collector of the statue in hopes to convince him to return the Buddha figure to China. The Yangchun villagers also went through official and private channels to negotiate with the collector for the return of the statue.

In addition, the Chinese side stressed that the statue had been proved to be a stolen cultural relic from China. According to the relevant international convention laws in both China and Holland as well as international practices, stolen relics should be returned unconditionally, instead of purchased.


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