Monday, 19 November, 2018

Man steals thumb of ancient terracotta warrior during museum party

China condemns US man for stealing terracotta warrior's thumb after posing for selfie First He Took Selfie With 2000-Year-Old Statue, Then Stole Its Thumb
| 20 February, 2018, 20:50

Chinese authorities are urging the U.S.to harshly punish an American man who allegedly stole a thumb from an ancient terracotta warrior statue after taking a selfie with it at a museum in Pennsylvania.

The 2,000-year-old statue, worth $4.5m (£3.2m), is one of 10 on loan to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He is now accused of theft of an artwork from a museum, concealment of the artwork and interstate transportation of stolen property, according to The New York Times.

Terracotta Warriors which guarded the tomb of China's First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, on loan from China are displayed in The World Museum, Liverpool, Britain February 6, 2017. "We have lodged a serious protest with them".

Authorities with the FBI's Art Crime Team visited Rohanna's home in January after reviewing surveillance footage from the night of an "ugly sweater" Christmas party at the museum on December 21.

"We call on the United States to severely punish those who have done [this]", Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relic Exchange Center's director told the Beijing Youth Daily, a state-run Chinese newspaper.

The museum noticed the missing thumb on January 8 - more than two weeks after the alleged incident - and reported it to police.

The centre said it had lent statues over the last 40 years without incident.


Security cameras show Rohana putting his hand on the left hand of the statue, and then appearing to break something off from its left hand and put it in his pocket before leaving the room, according to an arrest affidavit.

Wu added that his organization also intends to file a claim for compensation.

"We have almost 40 years' experience in sending artefacts overseas for exhibition ..."

News of Rohana's alleged assault on the 210 B.C. -era statue has angered China, which reveres the thousands of terra-cotta warrior statues as treasured cultural artifacts.

He added that the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre would be sending two experts to Philidelphia to fix the figure and that it would be seeking compensation. It was on display at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute when the vandalism took place.

"As a result of this incident we have thoroughly reviewed our security protocol and procedures, and have taken appropriate action where needed", the statement said.

Now a United Nations world heritage site, they were discovered by a Chinese farmer in 1974 in Shaanxi province, according to the Franklin Institute's exhibit page. The institute has been working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney's Office to ensure that justice for the individual responsible is served. We will continue to cooperate fully with our partners in China to maintain and protect the warriors with the utmost care and reverence.

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