Tue, February 24, 2009
Lifestyle > Society > China-YSL relics row

Chinese lawyers move to block auction of relics

2009-02-23 09:04:28 GMT2009-02-23 17:04:28 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A photographer takes a picture of the Chinese bronze rat head and rabbit head sculptures displayed on the preview of the auction of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge's art collection at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, Feb. 21, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

BEIJING, Feb. 23 -- A group of Chinese lawyers is now at work in Paris, trying to stop the auction house Christie's from selling two precious relics looted from Beijing's Old Summer Palace.

The auction of the bronze sculptures of a mouse head and a rabbit head is scheduled to take place in the French capital on Wednesday.

The Chinese lawyers have put forward to a local court a motion aimed at blocking this auction. The court is set to handle the case on Monday noon local time.

Displaying age-old Chinese craftmanship, the two bronze sculptures from the Qing Dynasty adorned the Old Summer Palace nearly 150 years ago. They were looted when the palace was burned by French and British forces during the Second Opium War in 1860.

According to the UNESCO Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, any cultural relics looted or lost during wars should be returned without any limitation of time span.

(Source: CCTV.com)

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