China's old Summer Palace exhibits stone carvings to mark looting anniversary

16:36, October 18, 2010      

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Visitors can see more than 85 pieces of beautiful stone carvings exhibited at Yuanmingyuan, or the old Summer Palace, Sunday to mark Monday's 150 anniversary of the looting of the imperial garden in the northwest of Beijing.

The 85 pieces of previously lost treasure were recovered from universities, public institutions or citizens in Beijing, Sun Chenlu, a staff member with the park's management office, told Xinhua Sunday.

The carvings, mostly in white marble and bluestones, were originally placed in Yuanmingyuan, but had been lost to different people and institutions for a variety of reasons, Sun said.

Displaying 57 types of figures, including stone screens, fountains, lions and fish, most of the carvings were voluntarily donated by individuals and institutions, she said.

Besides the once lost treasures, 57 pieces of repaired cultural relics are also on display.

The exhibition is one of many activities organized by the Haidian District Government of Beijing to mark the anniversary of the looting on Oct. 18, the exact date the looting occurred 150 years ago.

Other activities will include Sino-foreign culture exchanges and even a soiree, and will last through the end of this month.

Located in northwest Beijing, Yuanmingyuan, built from 1709 onwards, had once been a resort for the imperial families of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Yuanmingyuan was pillaged and burned down by British and French aggressor troops in 1860 and again sacked and burned down in 1900 when the Eight-Power Allied Forces -- troops sent by Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Tsarist Russia, Japan, Italy and Austria -- occupied Beijing.

Source: Xinhua


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