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Yuanmingyuan beast heads on show in Shandong

Updated: 2014-12-31 11:01:56

( Chinaculture.org )

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The heads of four Yuanmingyuan beasts – an ox, tiger, monkey and pig - are on display at the Shandong Museum in Jinan, after the opening of an exhibition on Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace) on Dec 30.

It is the first time the four copper statues have been displayed together in Shandong, along with over 100 cultural relics of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The four figures are part of an original set of 12 sculptures representing the Chinese zodiac from Emperor Qianlong's zodiac fountain in Yuanmingyuan. In 1860, British and French troops looted the heads amid the destruction of Yuanmingyuan.

The sculptures have been a much-discussed issue in China in recent years. They represent a strong symbol for China, because of their beauty and the history attached to them. Today, seven heads - the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey, and boar have been found. The dragon is claimed to be in Taiwan and the location of the other four- the snake, ram, rooster, and dog are unknown.

Visitors take in the heads of four Yuanmingyuan beasts – an ox, tiger, monkey and pig - on display at the Shandong Museum in Jinan, Dec 30. [Photo by Ju Chuanjiang/asianewsphoto.com]

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