Seven exhibits stolen from Palace Museum

15:02, May 11, 2011      

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A diamond-encrusted golden handbag from Hong Kong Liang Yi Collection is displayed at the Palace Museum in Beijing on April 26. (Photo by Jin Liangkuai, Xinhua)

The Palace Museum in Beijing confirmed on May 10 that seven exhibits from the Hong Kong Liang Yi Collection displayed at the Palace Museum were missing on May 8, and now the case is under investigation by the police.

However, as for the value of these exhibits, the Palace Museum did not give any response.

According to sources, the exhibition, titled "Blending—Liang Yi Treasures Exhibition," displayed 130 exhibits, including Chinese-style furniture, western-style cosmetic containers and handbags. The exhibition kicked off on April 28 and is scheduled to last to June 27.

On May 10, a thread about the missing exhibits appeared online and said that it was reported on reliable authority that late in the night on May 8, a patrolman of the security office of the Imperial Palace found a suspicious man with a large red mark on his body. The red mark was suspected to be scraped from the wall of the Imperial Palace. The patrolman ordered the suspect to squat down and then reported to his superior. However, the suspect seized the chance and ran away. After that, the security office was unable to find him.

Early the next day, the staff workers of the Palace Museum found a big hole at the black wall of Chengshu Palace. After they entered the palace through the hole, they were surprised to learn that the exhibition cabinets were pried open and seven exhibits were lost.

Wang Xiahong, the curator of Hong Kong Liang Yi Collection introduces furniture made of chrysanthemum pear displayed at the Palace Museum in Beijing on April 26. (Photo by Jin Liangkuai, Xinhua)

It is reported that the Imperial Palace has a strict security system controlling entry and exit. Security guards patrol every night. Monitoring detectors are set up everywhere, and there are alarms on the exhibition cabinets.

However, the security office of the Palace Museum did not find the suspect despite its surveillance system and even the alarms did not sound.

The Beijing Police said, after a preliminary investigation, the lost exhibits were discovered to be modern handcrafts displayed by the Hong Kong Liang Yi Collection. Now, the police are conducting further investigations.

In addition, according to internal information, the police have confirmed a 27-year-old non-Beijing suspect. He hid in the Imperial Palace before it was closed and stole the exhibits at midnight. Currently, the police are in pursuit of the suspect. However, the information has not been confirmed by the police.

On May 10, Wang Xiahong, the curator of Hong Kong Liang Yi Collection, arrived in Beijing. She said a press conference will be held on May 11 to release the clear photos of the seven missing exhibits in order to prevent illegal trading.

Now, the exhibition hall has been closed. The police have been carrying out investigations and obtaining evidence.

When the exhibition will reopen to the public is not sure unless police complete investigation.

By Ye Xin, People's Daily Online
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