Sina.com had a survey up about the recent Christie’s auction, in which two bronze animal heads looted from the Summer Palace in the
1719th century fetched 15.7 million euros. The survey results, translated into English, were thus:
Should Christie’s be banned from China?
Yes, Christie’s auction goes against international treaties and has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. (91.6%)
No, this is nothing but a simple business activity (7.3%)
Are you satisfied with the current state of protection for cultural artifacts?
Not satisfied. Over the years, artifacts have continued to be leaked to the outside world. The relevant bodies should inspect this. (88.5%)
Satisfied. Cultural artifacts are protected more and more. (8.0%)
Over the years, many Chinese cultural artifacts have been auctioned off, yet the attitudes of the Chinese people have been overall peaceful. Why do you think this auction is so controversial?
The relics were from the Second Opium War and represent China’s humiliation. (48.8%)
The French tried to connect human rights issues to the sale of the cultural artifacts (33.6%)
The media had not paid special attention to this before (15.9%)
One group of Chinese lawyers already filed a lawsuit earlier this month with the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris, asking for an injunction of the auction. But the court ruled against their demand.
Undaunted, the 81-person-strong group has said that it would seek to learn the identities of the buyers and possibly negotiate for the return of the bronzes.
Superstar Jackie Chan was so incensed that he felt he had to make a movie about it, according to The Standard:
”They remain looted items, no matter whom they were sold to. Whoever took it out [of China] is himself a thief,” he fumed to reporters in Hong Kong. ”It was looting yesterday. It is still looting today.”
The action star said he is planning a movie about the search for and return of some of China’s stolen national treasures from the palace. Filming is scheduled to start next year.
”But now we lost two more pieces. This made me really angry,” he said.
Note: I left out the “Undecided” votes because they were boring and never amounted to more than 3.5%