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Chinese bronze vessel comes home

Date: 2018.12.13 Author: Celia Tang

A Chinese bronze vessel - Bronze Tiger Ying which was formerly collected in Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace, returned to China on December 11th. After the return, it is collected at the National Museum of China.


The vessel - Bronze Tiger Ying can be dated back to the Western Zhou period (1046 BC-771 BC). During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it was belonged to the royal family. In 1860, it was taken away by the British military officer Harry Evans from the Yuanmingyuan during the invasion of Anglo-French allied forces.


In April this year, the Bronze Tiger Ying appeared in an auction catalog at the Canterbury Auction Galleries in Britain, and was sold for 410,000 pounds ($517,000) on April 11th to a buyer. The buyer, however, indicated a desire to return it to China in communications with the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the Chinese embassy in London. The buyer, through the auction house, contacted China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) in late April and expressed hope for an unconditional donation.


The director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, Liu Yuzhu, said that its journey back home is a milestone in the efforts to repatriate the lost treasures from overseas, which fully shows the responsibility of every citizen to protect the cultural heritage.