May 22, 2013
China Protests Artifact Auction
Posted on Feb 26, 2009
China’s cultural heritage agency has strongly condemned the auction of two bronze pieces it says were looted from the Summer Palace near Beijing some 150 years ago. Christie’s sold the bronzes, part of the late Yves Saint Laurent’s estate, for 31 million euros.
It’s bad enough that museums engage in this kind of cultural pilfering—at least those objects are offered for public viewing. The idea of some Bruce Wayne snatching up a priceless relic to fill a sconce in his bat cave is truly appalling.
One can only hope the high bidder bought the pieces in order to give them back to China.
Related: The Truthdig book review of Sharon Waxman’s “Loot” examines this issue in greater detail.
Previous item: Mr. Clooney Goes to Washington ... for Darfur
Next item: Donald Fanger on Seamus Heaney
New and Improved Comments