Source: CRI

10-24-2008 13:52

Two precious Chinese cultural relics stolen by the Eight-nation Allied Forces from Beijing's Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace, more than a century ago will be auctioned off overseas.

In this undated photo is shown the bronze rat head statue. The relic is to be auctioned next year along with the bronze hare head statue by Christie's in Paris. 
In this undated photo is shown the bronze rat head statue. The
relic is to be auctioned next year along with the bronze hare 
head statue by Christie's in Paris. 

Christie, a Britain-based auction giant has earlier announced the bronze rat and hare statues will be on sale from February 23 to 25 next year at a special auction in Paris, Beijing Evening News reports.

The two items are among an over 700 item collection of late French designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, that are to be sold at the auction. Each of the two sculptures is expected to sell for at least 8 million euros.

In this undated photo is shown the bronze rabbit head statue. The relic is to be auctioned next year along with the bronze hare head statue by Christie's in Paris. 
In this undated photo is shown the bronze rabbit head statue. The
relic is to be auctioned next year along with the bronze hare head
statue by Christie's in Paris. 

All proceeds from the auction will be used for AIDS prevention and other scientific studies sponsored by the Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, the report said.

The two pieces were originally among the Old Summer Palace's 12 original bronze animal statues inspired by the Chinese zodiac. The heads of all of these bronze animals were all plundered during the Eight-nation Allied Forces invasion against the Qing Dyanasty in 1860, when the palace was burned down. But only five of these animals' heads, the boar, tiger, ox, monkey and horse, have been fortunately returned from international auction markets. Others are still unknown except the latest two items that are to be sold next year in France.

A Chinese foundation dedicated to bringing the stolen Chinese relics back from abroad has said it will try its best to communicate with the auctioneer to achieve a satisfactory result.


Editor:Liu Fang