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China prevents auction of looted relics in Japan

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-04 13:41

China prevents auction of looted relics in Japan


China has successfully prevented a Japanese auction of looted Chinese cultural relics, a statement from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) said Thursday.

The statement did not include the name of the Japanese auction house, nor details of the relics.

It said the SACH had learned from local media reports that a Japanese auction house planned to put several looted Chinese cultural relics on auction at the end of October.

The SACH immediately contacted the auction company, demanding it halt the sale. Upon investigation, the company decided to cancel the auction, according to the statement.

A letter widely circulated on the internet, purportedly sent by the SACH to the Yokohama-based Japanese auction house, said that the relics, "illegally obtained by Otani Kozui and his fellows," included a few pieces of mural and handwritten Buddhist manuscripts dated from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

From 1902 to 1914, Otani Kozui, a Japanese Buddhist and explorer, led or financed three expeditions to Northwest China, according to Central Asian Expedition, a book by Zuicho Tachibana, who took part in the trips.

China consistently opposes sales of illegally looted cultural relics, according to the SACH statement. "In recent years this position has gained increasing understanding and support."


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