Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Ill auction not illegal

By Xu Ming (Global Times)

09:21, December 27, 2012

Sale of stolen relics opens wound, but buying back still good option

The cultural relics robbed and stolen from Yuanmingyuan, a Chinese imperial garden that was burned and looted in 1860 by the Anglo-French forces, never fail to attract attention every time they appear in public.

On December 17, an imperial jade seal reportedly dedicated to emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) was auctioned for 1.12 million euros ($1.47 million) at Artcurial auction house in Paris. According to APACE, an association in France engaged in protecting Chinese cultural relics, the seal could have been stolen from Yuanmingyuan.

Artcurial published a communiqué on December 10 to deny that the seal was from Yuanmingyuan, stating that it would not cancel the auction. APACE responded that it would take legal action if the sale went ahead.

Other experts doubted the authenticity of APACE's examination. Meanwhile, the controversy has aroused a wave of discussion about the auction of cultural relics from Yuanmingyuan.

Controversial auction

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) stated on December 18 that it objects to the behavior of auctioning Chinese cultural relics that are lost illegally and maintains the right of recourse for any confirmed illegally lost relics.

SACH said it hoped related agencies will comply with relevant international conventions and respect the feelings of the Chinese people by stopping the auction and commercial speculation of such items.

Bernard Gómez, the president of APACE, said he tried to prevent the auction, regarding it as an attempt to legalize looted relics. "They just would not listen. They don't understand the Chinese spirit," Gómez told Legal Mirror.

The auction is controversial not only in whether the seal can be legally auctioned, but also in its origin. An expert invited by APACE said that the seal belongs to Yuanmingyuan and to the reign of emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820). But Artcurial insisted it is from the reign of emperor Qianlong and denied it belongs to Yuanmingyuan, saying the seal was from a French family, who has been the owner since the late 19th century.

【1】 【2】 【3】

We recommend:

PK! Who is real red carpet queen?

Liberated cover girls on Old Shanghai pictorials

Top10 beauties in court costumes of Qing Dynasty

Female stars hates HD camera ! I bet !

Looted jade seals from Old Summer Palace

Shocking! Stars' impressive outfits

Time to abandon Olympic obsession

Female stars' grins: too horrible to look at !

The silent beauty of the Summer Palace in winter


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. "Zhoushan" warship in training

  2. Officers and men in winter training

  3. Splendid moments in 2012

  4. 89 children rescued in trafficking crackdown

  5. Unremitting scientific exploration

  6. Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway opens

  7. World's hottest supermodels in 2012

  8. The sexiest female athletes of 2012

Most Popular


  1. Time to abandon obsession with theme parks
  2. No grand glory, but plenty to cheer about
  3. Optimism over China's economy surfaces
  4. Internet gaming: 'A winning gamble'
  5. People have right to know what chickens eat
  6. Catchwords in memory in 2012
  7. Why the young Chinese get physically weaker
  8. Why Discover China is popular in the West
  9. The laughter sounds too harsh
  10. Do not confuse Confucious with Santa Claus

What’s happening in China

Ministry urges school safety after fatal van crash

  1. China to monitor students' fitness nationwide
  2. Military liquor ban drops shares
  3. China helps migrant workers get train tickets
  4. China convicts nearly 30,000 for IPR crimes
  5. Tobacco control plan criticized as 'weak'