British collector returns Chinese porcelain

17:20, April 07, 2010      

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British collector Morris Hyam plans to donate, exhibit and sell his stock of porcelain back to China.

British collector Morris Hyam plans to donate, exhibit and sell his stock of porcelain back to China. The Chinaware, which Hyam bought from an auction in Germany, traced its origin to a sunken ship from the Qing Dynasty.

Morris Hyam developed a keen interest towards Chinese porcelain in the Ming and Qing Dynasties before he acquired the famous title as the "first person of Chinese Exported Porcelain". His London apartment has been a virtual museum of the Chinese blue and white porcelain wares.

In May of 1999, an Australian wrecking company salvaged a sunken ship from the Qing dynasty near the Zhongsha Islands, also called the Macclesfield Islands. The ship is a Chinese commercial ship named "Tai Xing". And the salvage yielded more than 300,000 porcelain wares at the route of the maritime silk road that stretched to Southeast Asia and beyond.

The bulk of the find was later shipped to Stuttgart for auction. Hyam and his friends purchased a record number of 80-thousand items.

British collector Morris Hyam plans to donate, exhibit and sell his stock of porcelain back to China.

A deep admirer of Chinese culture, Hyam decided to bring the salvage back to China. He has entrusted the British-based Overseas Chinese Lost Culture Relics Protection Fund to complete the procedure.

Li Junchen from the Fund quotes the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage for the validity of the operation. He said that the convention has stated the obligation to preserve underwater cultural heritage under water as a preferred option and no commercial exploitation of this heritage should be incurred.

The Convention enters into force in 2001, and the salvage of Ship Tai Xing took place in 1999. So it is completely valid for these porcelains to be exhibited and sold in China.

Source: CCTV. com


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