It is them who retrieve the “national treasures” that have been lost for a century!
China Overseas Chinese Network, February 22nd. Title: It is them who retrieve the “national treasures” that have been lost for a century!
At the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in 2021, a stone sculpture of the Buddha head returned to China from Japan attracted the attention of audiences from all over the country.
This stone sculpture originally belonged to the main deity of the north wall of Cave 8 of Tianlongshan Grottoes in Taiyuan, Shanxi, and was stolen and excavated in the 1920s.
Through the active negotiation and free donation of Zhang Rong, an overseas Chinese in Japan, the Buddha finally returned to his motherland after being lost overseas for nearly a century, to welcome the Chinese New Year and celebrate the reunion with the people of the whole country.
Lost overseas for nearly a century The main statue of the head of the Buddha on the north wall of Cave 8 of the Tianlongshan Grottoes. Photo courtesy of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Photographed by Luo Zheng
The centuries-old drifting of the head of the Buddha is the epitome of thousands of cultural relics lost overseas.
The previous report released by UNESCO shows that according to incomplete statistics, there are more than 1.64 million Chinese cultural relics in the collections of more than 200 museums in 47 countries around the world. Cultural relics are 10 times the number of collections.
According to the statistics of the Chinese Society of Cultural Relics, since the Opium War in 1840, more than 10 million Chinese cultural relics have been lost overseas, including more than 1 million national first- and second-class cultural relics.
These lost cultural relics are not only a symbol of dazzling civilization, but to a certain extent they are also witnesses of China’s “trauma”.
For a long time, the “Overseas Legion” with overseas Chinese as the main body has done its responsibilities in a variety of ways to find a way home for these “legacy beads”.
Three years ago, in the same spring evening, a silk road map of the Ming Dynasty made a stunning appearance.
This long scroll is 30.12 meters long. It was originally hidden in the inner palace of the Ming Dynasty. It depicts the vast area from Jiayuguan West to Tianfang City (now Mecca, the holy Islamic city in Saudi Arabia) in the last century. Lost overseas in the 1930s.
Later, Xu Rongmao, a Chinese businessman from Quanzhou and chairman of the board of Shimao Group, invested US$20 million to purchase it from a private collector and donated it to the Palace Museum free of charge.
December 6, 2018 On January, the “Silk Road Landscape Map Exhibition” opened at the Hong Kong Science Museum. The picture shows the original “Silk Road Landscape Map”. Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Wei
He said at the donation ceremony: “When I knew the Forbidden City was suffering from raising funds, I felt that I had the responsibility and obligation to return this painting to its hometown and protect the cultural relics. Meager power.”
Due to historical reasons, the Chinese have a special feeling for the cultural relics of Yuanmingyuan lost overseas.
In early August 2007, after the news that Hong Kong Sotheby’s was preparing to auction the bronze statue of the horse’s head in Yuanmingyuan, there was an uproar from all walks of life.
Data Picture: Horse Head Bronze statue by China News Agency reporter Du Yang
The late Hong Kong and Macao well-known entrepreneur and patriot He Hongshen made a generous investment before the auction, bought it for HK$69.1 million, and donated it to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage , For the 100-year return of the horse head bronze statue to draw a perfect end.
In early 2003, Stanley Ho donated HK$6 million to the China Special Fund for Rescue of Lost Overseas Cultural Relics. He bought a precious bronze statue of a pig head in Yuanmingyuan from an American collector and donated it to the country.
Liu Yuzhu, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said: “The return of the horse’s head is an interpretation of the profound truth of’weak nationalities will cause cultural relics to be lost, and strong national destiny will lead to cultural prosperity.’ A successful example of success.”
On July 13, 2018, donated by the Chinese professor Wang Chunjie and his wife of the Freer Art Museum in the United States, a head of the Yungang Grotto Bodhisattva that had been lost overseas went back home. Exhibited in Shanxi Provincial Museum. So far, this “national treasure” that has been living overseas for nearly a century has returned to its homeland.
The head of the figure was carved in the Northern Wei Dynasty and was stolen in the 1920s. Wang Chunjie and his wife bought it from the descendants of cultural relic collectors and donated it to their home country.
July 13, 2018 On Japan, Chinese American Wang Chunjie and his wife donated a stone head of the Heavenly King from the Northern Wei Dynasty to Shanxi Museum. Photo by Hu Jian
This is the second time that Wang Chunjie and his wife donated a “national treasure” to Shanxi Museum. In 2016, they donated a stone sculpture from Cave 19 of the Yungang Grottoes.
“Bringing national treasures home is nothing else, just because they are China’s treasures.” Wang Chunjie said that returning the lost cultural relics to their homeland is the wish of the couple for many years, and it is also “every descendant of Yan Huang What should be done”.
Belgian Chinese Wu Pei has been engaged in exporting porcelain collection for more than 20 years. Along the way, he discovered that these Ming and Qing porcelains exported from China that “have conquered the world” were highly appreciated and collected by foreigners, but they were rarely known by the Chinese.
In his opinion, “Porcelain can only be appreciated at home, and when it is shipped back to China, more people can appreciate the beauty of art.” In 2014, in order to realize his “dream of returning cultural relics”, Wu Pei spent a million to establish the “Ming and Qing Porcelain Exhibition Hall” in Rugao, Jiangsu.
He said that this is the best destination for these export porcelains, and it is also the best gift he presents to his hometown as an overseas traveller: on the one hand, more people understand export porcelain through the exhibition, and on the other hand, through Donate to universities to help academic research.
Shan Jixiang, the former dean of the Palace Museum, said in an interview that “Chinese cultural heritage has been selflessly sponsored and supported by the vast number of overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese.”
With these guardians of cultural relics who are willing to “sea scouring”, many national treasures that were once lost overseas have been able to see the sun again and return to their roots.
I believe that with the help of more and more overseas Chinese, there will be more cultural relics on their way home.