A villager in rural Jiangxi province dug up an 80 ton piece of ebony estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of yuan, People’s Daily reports.
Liang Cai, of Xiushui county, said he spent over 90,000 yuan to dig up the 24 metre long tree lodged under a riverbed. However, Liang may not see any returns from his investment after the local government — citing vague laws surrounding the ownership of objects dug up — seized the ebony, which may be worth hundreds of millions of yuan.
The General Principles of the Civil Law states that the government has lawful claim to any objects dug up which do not clearly belong to someone else, but the applicability of the law to precious woods such as ebony is unclear.
[Image credit: @wwarby]