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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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(From left to right) Chinese delegates Lai Shuilian, Chen Yueping, Fu Bin,Liu Wenjian, Li Zhen, You Dengta, Wu Liujin and Lin Guozhang appeal for the return of the mummified Buddha in front of the Dutch Embassy in Hungary on April 13. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

On the back of the Buddha statue, the handwritten Chinese characters "JIA FAN" are legible, though damaged, which is obviously the name of someone, a name clearly recorded in the family tree of Yangchun Village.

"In early April this year, I delivered a report containing the facts revealed by the records and information of characters on the cushion and the back to Mr. Oscar van Overeem through Drents Museum," said Li.

"Why does he only mention old photos? We believe the Buddha statue in the photos is identical in all aspects to the one he holds, and obviously they are the same one. For the purpose of carrying out real and serious scientific research and discovering the truth on the identity of the Buddha statue, Mr. Oscar van Overeem absolutely can carefully treat these characters and information provided by us, but he fails to do so, or at any rate fails to confess in public, he just says China only has old photos. "

"Millions of Chinese historical and cultural relics are kept abroad at museums or in private collections, and the foreign ownership came from wars, stealing, and illegal trade during chaotic times in history. But the Buddha statue of Patriarch Zhanggong was stolen in contemporary society, whether it's a relic or not, it is a private item owned by the local Chinese village. Therefore, just considering the right of property, a stolen item should be returned to its original owner without the influence of the so-called limitation of prosecution, this reason is simple enough. In my opinion, any transaction of this stolen statue is a part of illegal trade chain, even today. China has the right to recover it unconditionally and start international investigation into the smuggling and reselling."

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