Police recover priceless relics stolen from Beijing scholar's home

15:55, December 21, 2009      

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Beijing police said Monday they had detained two people and recovered a collection of priceless books and other relics that were stolen from the former home of a leading academic.

The collection was left by former Peking University professor Ji Xianlin to his son after his death on July 11.

A spokesman for the Haidian Branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau confirmed they detained a man named Fang Xianru and a woman Wang Ru on Sunday in connection with the theft.

Police were still investigating, said the spokesman.

The relics were kept at the scholar's former residence at Peking University, after he died at the age of 98.

Ji's only son, Ji Cheng, told Xinhua that the 5,000 ancient books and several bronze statues were reported stolen on Dec. 16.

He said Fang Xianru was his father's former housekeeper. He refused to leave the house after he was fired in May. However, he disappeared from the house after the relics were stolen.

The other suspect, Wang Ru, has been identified as a foster daughter of Li Yujie, Ji's former secretary.

Peking University posted a statement on its website Sunday confirming the school had helped check relics in Ji's house and transferred them to Ji's son in June.

Ji was fluent in 12 foreign languages. He served as a professor with the oriental studies department of Peking University from 1946 to 1983. He also served as deputy president of the university between 1978 and 1984.

Source: Xinhua
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