Subscribe to free Email Newsletter


Chinese cultural relics lost abroad (part 4)

2014-11-06 13:50:54



In the long-term of progress of Chinese civilization, millions of valuable artworks were created by intelligent Chinese people. However, because of the wartime robbery or iniquitous trade, numerous national treasures have been lost overseas. Most of them are distributed in museums in the UK, France, Germany, US and Japan.

British museums and libraries have collected 1.3 million Chinese relics from different dynasties. In the British Museum, there are more than 30,000 pieces, including Chinese paintings and calligraphy, ancient books, jade, porcelain and bronze ware, which cover nearly 7000 years of Chinese history.

France is the second largest country to have the most Chinese relics after UK in Europe. In the Louvre Museum, there are over 30,000 relics and among them there are about 6,000 pieces of ancient pottery, bronze ware from the Shang and Zhou dynasties and porcelain ware.

Japan is said to have the most relics from China. Since 1840, at the time of the First Opium War, China has lost many of its treasures. It is said that more than 1,000 public or private museums in Japan have Chinese treasures.

America is home to most of the lost Chinese paintings and calligraphy. In the Freer Gallery alone, there are over 1,200 paintings and over 500 pieces in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Han Shan and Shi De by Yintuoluo, Yuan Dynasty/14th century


Han Shan and Shi De are two legendary figures of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), who are said to have lived in Guoqing Temple and trained with the Zen master Fenggan. Han Shan and Shi De paintings were favored by Zen monks. This scroll painted by Yintuoluo, a monk in the late of Yuan Dynasty, was highly prized by Japan. It depicts that Han and Shi roared with laughter without answering any of the questions put to them by Fenggan. The box that accompanies this work carries an inscription by the well known tea master and governor of Matsue, Matsudaira Fumai (1751-1818), and from it we know that this famous work was formerly in the possession of the Asano family. And now it is housed in Tokyo National Museum.

We Recommend:

Chinese cultural relics lost overseas (part 1) Chinese cultural relics lost overseas (part 2) Chinese cultural relics lost overseas (part 3)
1 2 3 4 5



Chinese cultural relics lost abroad (part 4)


Fifty Chinese and French artists build art park


Cute stone lions go virus online


Students get a touch of traditional culture in Beijing


Tianjin develops Grand Canal cultural tourism


Trick or treat! Says the pumpkin-shaped teapot


Traditional “Datongnian” custom of the Miao villages in Guangxi


China-South Korea cultural festival held in Seoul


The stage play Journey to the West debuts in Bangkok


The Imperial kiln wares reflect the taste of famous emperors


"Beijing Smart Lady" in Seoul


Ru Porcelain displayed in Beijing


Collection of Chinese paintings featuring red leaves


Shaolin Kungfu staged in New Zealand


Autumn harvest scenery of Chenkan ancient village


Chinese crafts unveiled in Sweden


The new look of ancient block at South Gate of Xi'an City Wall


Liao Embroidery