Monday, February 23, 2009

Paris auction of looted Chinese treasures

A serious event.

First some history.
The Britain’s evil parliament approved to send warships to enforce the opium trade to China. What do you call a country pushing opium?

It is about 150 years ago, but it seems it is forgotten outside China.

The settlement asked China to compensate all the opium burned by the Chinese and army expenses, open the seaports for opium trade, release the Chinese prisoners who helped the British, cede Hong Kong…

Imagine Cambodia asks US to pay for the opium burned during US raids and their army expenses, open more seaports for opium trade, release all the traitors who helped Cambodia during the war, and cede Hawaii to Cambodia. How outrageous?

Cambodia can be replaced by another opium export country.

The alliance of foreign countries burned China’s summer palace, looted all the treasures (most are done by over 3,000 Franco-British soldiers and took 3 days/nights to burn it down)… Imagine foreigners loot all the treasures from Buckingham Palace and burn it down.

The common excuse from the west is the rebellion against the west. As some one said in the blog, they’re patriots or rebels. How outrageous to open opium trades by using force in the first place.

All European foreigners to Beijing should be informed of the ruin so we can learn not to repeat from history. You do not see many foreigners in the ruin. Same as few Japanese tourists in the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

All the museums in Europe should classify whether the Chinese treasures are loots and posted the info if necessary. I like to know the percentage of the Chinese treasures are loots.

If it is stolen, it should be returned to the owner. From stolen jewelry from your house to mummy from Egypt.

No matter how many times it is legally traded and as long as it is stolen it is still loot.


Reality check.

It would be a moral victory but not feasible to stop the auction. All the lawyers can tell you that. I just want to raise the awareness of the beginning part of our bad history (late Qing to end of Mao). A lot of lawyers donate their services free for China on this incident, so I have a higher respect on the legal profession. :)

The auction is intended for AIDS research. I suggest to give the part of the auction to a Chinese university on same cause, preferably in Beijing.


I came across YingYing's comment as follows. Just sad and no words can describe how outrageous the barbarians from the west were. Thanks YingYing. With this kind of grand palace for pleasure including the marble boat, I wonder how the regime could be strong to protect its citizens.

Let's hope that the history will not repeat since problems are over our head again!! Can we ever learn as human?? We always choose destruction to solve our problems. We do not have much left to destroy…

The Old Summer Palace which was built in the 18th and early 19th century were destroyed by British and French troops in 1860. It was almost 5 times the size of the Forbidden City, and 8 times the size of the Vatican City.

There were also a few buildings in Tibetan and Mongol styles, and European-style buildings reflecting the diversity of the Qing Empire. It had hundreds of halls, pavilions, temples, galleries, gardens, lakes, etc. Several famous landscapes of southern China had been reproduced in the Imperial Gardens, hundreds of invaluable Chinese art masterpieces and antiquities were stored in the halls, making the Imperial Gardens one of the largest museums in the world. Some unique copies of literary work and compilations were also stored inside the Imperial Gardens.

It took 3,500 British troops to set the entire place ablaze, taking three days to burn.

Charles George Gordon, a 27-year-old captain in the Royal Engineers wrote: “We went out, and, after pillaging it, burned the whole place, destroying in a vandal-like manner most valuable property which [could] not be replaced for four millions. We got upward of £48 apiece prize money…I have done well. The [local] people are very civil, but I think the grandees hate us, as they must after what we did the Palace. You can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the places we burnt. It made one’s heart sore to burn them; in fact, these places were so large, and we were so pressed for time, that we could not plunder them carefully. Quantities of gold ornaments were burnt, considered as brass. It was wretchedly demoralizing work for an army.”

Some contemporary Frenchmen, such as Victor Hugo, disapproved of the action; in his "Expédition de Chine", Hugo described the looting as, "'Two robbers breaking into a museum, devastating, looting and burning, leaving laughing hand-in-hand with their bags full of treasures; one of the robbers is called France and the other Britain. In his letter Hugo hoped that one day France would feel guilty and return what it had plundered from China.

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