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Buddha statue still not returned to China

Updated: 2015-11-27 08:30:51

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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The Buddha statue on display at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest in March. [Photo/Xinhua]

According to the Dutch newspaper Het Parool's story on October 20, we noticed Mr. Oscar van Overeem still holds that the evidence China relies on only amounts to three old photos, and he does not think that the statue in the photos is the same as the one he owns.

Mr. Oscar van Overeem said he has good intentions of cooperation, but the villagers can hardly feel them, Li explained.

Instead, the villagers are completely puzzled about the incomprehensible attitude of the Dutch collector. If the condition is simply money, they don't even know how much is required. If Mr. Oscar van Overeem is concerned about the best arrangement for Patriarch Zhanggong, but he insists the statue should be moved to a strange place far from its historical home. Most importantly, even today, as mentioned above, Oscar van Overeem still holds that the statue is not the same one the Chinese side claims.

So, the local people are trying to take back the statue despite all the difficulties, to put it back in their clan temple and worship it as a traditional God? I think the key of all good intentions should be the recognition of facts, that is the statue is genuinely the Patriarch Zhanggong of Yangchun village.

Since negotiations are at a standstill now, the local villagers have decided to take legal measures to recover the statue. They hired lawyers to bring the case to a Dutch court.

The reason why Mr. Oscar van Overeem still turns a blind eye to the evidence is uncertain. Dutch researchers have conducted scientific research on this Buddha statue, studied enterocoelia, bones and teeth of the mummified body with modern apparatus, and very accurately measured the age of mummified body and cushion. As for the identity of the mummified body, on the basis of the characters on the cushion, Dutch researchers think that his name is Zhang Liuquan.

"We believe that a true and complete scientific research on this Buddha statue requires textual researches on cultural and historical information and literature, in addition to the use of modern apparatuses and devices," Li said.

"Characters on the cushion have clearly identified the mummified body as Patriarch Zhanggong housed in Puzhao Temple. Liuquan is not his name, but means the integrity of his trunk, head and four limbs. In Chinese characters, we can call him Patriarch Zhanggong for short. Puzhao Temple is located in Wushan Township, Datian County, Fujian Province, China. Only the natives of this township throughout China believe in and worship Patriarch Zhanggong. There is no ancestral hall or temple elsewhere in China for enshrining the Buddha statue of Patriarch Zhanggong. "

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