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Businessman endeavors to collect Chinese cultural relics in North America

(People's Daily Online)    14:36, December 27, 2018

Jack Li introduces his collection (Photot/People's Daily Online)

Jack Li, a Chinese businessman in the United States, runs a private museum, a permanent home for more than 3,000 pieces of Chinese cultural relics collected from overseas private owners in Princeton, New Jersey, US.

Many of these treasures are Chinese cultural relics lost overseas since the Opium War in 1840, and cover a wide range of categories, including painting, calligraphy, porcelain, Buddhist art and ancient furniture.

Li has had strong interest in Chinese history and culture ever since childhood, particularly classical art and antiques. He began collecting some pieces of Chinese calligraphy and paintings and traditional furniture in mahogany from 2005 when he just started business without abundant financial resources. In 2009, his family moved to the US. Since then, he has devoted even more of his money, time and energy to collect more Chinese ancient artifacts.

There are many old private collectors with lost Chinese treasures in North America, whose offspring show less interest in collection or even sell them for urgent needs. They are introduced by connoisseurs to Li who embarks on the journey of collecting overseas Chinese cultural relics.

An 82-year-old female collector had a son born and raised in the US who showed no interest in collection. Upon hearing the news, Li immediately visited her, and told her that he intended to buy her family collection for carrying forward the Chinese culture. This coincided perfectly with the old woman’s idea of finding an ideal home for her family treasures, who finally sold all of them to Li.

With sharp eyes and sincerity, Li managed to collect treasures owned by private collectors for decades or even hundreds of years. He often travelled across North America to search for Chinese cultural relics.

About 1.67 million pieces of Chinese relics are housed in more than 200 museums in 47 countries, especially in the United Kingdom, France, the US and Japan, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. But those in the hands of private collectors are ten times higher.

For overseas Chinese, ancient Chinese cultural relics are non-renewable cultural resources reflecting China’s distinctive culture, said Li. He feels a strong sense of mission to protect valuable Chinese cultural relics lost overseas and let more people to understand China’s profound history and culture.

He also plans to establish a website to introduce these treasures to Americans. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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