February 20, 2014
While many countries have been arguing for years about disputed artefacts abroad (with little success), China has for some time now taken an additional parallel approach to this. Buying back objects, when the come up for auction is of course something that you can only do if you have the cash reserves to carry out the plan – and the existing owner is planning on selling. The fact that there are so many Chinese artefacts abroad, means that there will always be one that is owned by someone who is planning on selling it (normally at auction).
The whole practise of buying back these works is looked down on by many as it goes a step towards legitimising the original acquisitions. It is something that only a few countries can afford to do – and indeed, in the case of China, it has mainly been undertaken by individuals doing it with the intention of bringing the works back, rather than a concerted effort by the state.
South China Morning Post
Recovery of China’s lost marbles stirs debate
Recovery of relics is increasingly a marker of Beijing’s changing geopolitical clout
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 6:39pm
China has long sought to recover treasures it says were looted by foreigners, but a tycoon’s US$1.6 million deal for the return of seven white marble columns from Norway is raising unusual debate on the issue.
Critics have openly challenged the motives of real estate developer Huang Nubo, whose donation to the KODE Art Museums of Bergen paved the way for the return of the Old Summer Palace relics, and some argued they should not be “bought back”.
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