So much for getting a grasp on history. A 22 year old from Hubei province was detained after he was spotted breaking a window of Beijing’s Palace Museum in what may have been a misguided attempt to recreate ‘Night at the Museum 2: Ben Stiller Wants a New House’.
Shanghai Daily reports:
Witnesses said the suspect became angry when he was prevented from taking pictures and suddenly struck the window, according to the Beijing News and Beijing Times newspapers. The clock fell from a shelf after the window was shattered.
The ornate mantle clock was made by a British craftsman in the 18th century. Its glass cover was broken and some metal parts broken or bent.
Museum official Zhao Nan said he heard glass breaking and caught Wang at the scene. Wang seemed tongue-tied when he was asked why he had broken the window and was said to have mumbled: “If I don’t break the glass, the glass will beat me” and “I should have found a place where there were fewer people.”
According to Beijing police, Wang was detained “on suspicion of deliberately destroying cultural relics”, which is a fantastically specific crime and much more interesting than getting charged with boring old criminal damage.
It’s been a month of ups and downs for lovers of Chinese relics. On Friday, French rich person Francois-Henri Pinault announced that he would donate a bronze rat head and bronze rabbit head
liberated stolen from China’s royal garden Yuanmingyuan during an invasion in 1860. The relics, which date from the Qing Dynasty, will be handed over to the Chinese government.