BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Following an auction Wednesday in Paris by Christie's of two bronze sculptures taken from the Summer Palace in 1860, China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) issued a statement here Thursday condemning the action and saying it would have "serious effects" on Christie's development in China."
The administration said in the statement that China did not acknowledge what it called the illegal possession of the two sculptures and would "continue to seek the return of the sculptures by all means in accord with related international conventions and Chinese laws."
According to the statement, SACH officials sought repeatedly to halt the sale. However, it said, Christie's proceeded with the auction, violating international conventions and the "common understanding" that such artifacts should be returned to their country of origin.
It said the auction "damaged Chinese citizens' cultural rights and feelings and will have serious effects on Christie's development in China."
It didn't specify what actions China might take.