Today, the 159 year old bronze statue of horse head in Yuanmingyuan is gone home

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 Today, the 159 year old bronze statue of horse head in Yuanmingyuan is gone home


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On the afternoon of the 13th, the donation ceremony of horse head bronze statue of Yuanmingyuan was held in the National Museum. The reporter learned that the horses head was donated by Macao businessman Stanley Ho and will be collected by Beijing Yuanmingyuan Management Office. It has been 159 years since it lost overseas. Up to now, among the twelve animal heads of the Chinese zodiac in the Yuanmingyuan, seven animal heads have been returned, including rat head, ox head, tiger head, rabbit head, horse head, monkey head and pig head. In 2018, a product suspected of losing dragons head appeared on the set; the whereabouts of snake head, sheep head, chicken head and dog head are still unknown.

The bronze statue of horses head in Yuanmingyuan, with its exquisite workmanship, open mouth and microvolt shaped ears, is natural and lifelike, and its hairy depiction is even more delicate and moving. It is one of the main components of the twelve zodiac animal head fountains outside Haiyan hall, the western building complex of Changchun Garden in Yuanmingyuan in Qing Dynasty. Haiyan hall was built in 1759 (the 24th year of Qianlongs reign). The word Haiyan is taken from Heqing Haiyan, the country is peaceful and the people are safe. According to the research, the body of the bronze statue of the Chinese zodiac is the shape of stone sculpture wearing robes and the head is the realistic style. The bronze statue of horse head was designed by the Italian Lang shining. It is a combination of eastern and Western art concepts and design styles. It was made by the palace craftsman during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty. It is made of refined red copper with deep and thick colors. It was cast and shaped by the lost wax method. It has lifelike appearance and perfect hair. It has deep color and luster on the outside and has a fine connotation. It has experienced wind and rain for a hundred years without rusting, showing a very high technology Standard, is an extraordinary ancient Chinese art.

After the casting of the bronze statue of the animal head, it is arranged on the stone platform of human body on both sides of the fountain in the shape of eight. Each animal is a fountain mechanism. Every day, the bronze statues of the head of the twelve zodiac animals spray water in turn, respectively representing different times of the day. At noon, the twelve heads of beasts will spray water at the same time. Therefore, the fountain is also known as the water clock. In 1860, the British and French allied forces invaded Beijing, and the Old Summer Palace was looted and burned. The bronze statues of horse heads and 11 other bronze statues of beast heads were lost overseas. After that, for more than 100 years, Yuanmingyuans animal heads scattered overseas and separated from the motherland. Since the 1980s, Chinas lost cultural relics, including the animal head of the Yuanmingyuan, have appeared overseas in succession. International auction enterprises have repeatedly paid high prices for their profits. Chinese people have strongly denounced it, international public opinion has paid extensive attention to it, and the return of cultural relics faces many obstacles. Every beast heads way home is gathering the silent efforts of countless people.

In August 2007, the State Administration of cultural heritage learned that the bronze statue of horse head in Yuanmingyuan would be auctioned in Hong Kong Sothebys Auction Co., Ltd. and expressed the firm position of terminating the public auction and the good intention of promoting the return of cultural relics at the first time. Sothebys company of Hong Kong actively cooperated in this regard. In September, Mr. ho Hongshen learned about the situation, and with a high sense of family and responsibility, he invested money to rescue the lost cultural relics, ending the wandering of the bronze statue of horse head for more than 100 years. Since then, the bronze statue of horse head has been publicly displayed in Hong Kong and Macao, which has played a positive role in improving the understanding of Hong Kong and Macao compatriots on the motherland culture and promoting the spirit of patriotism.

Under the coordination of the State Administration of cultural heritage, in November 2019, Mr. ho Hongshen decided to donate the bronze statue of horse head to the State Administration of cultural heritage to present to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the peoples Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of Macaos return. In order to better practice the international consensus on the return of lost cultural relics to their original place of origin, the State Administration of cultural relics, through consultation with Mr. ho Hongshen, transferred the bronze statue of Ma Shou to the collection of Beijing Yuanmingyuan Management Office, and returned to its original place, marking a successful end to its centennial return.

So far, seven animal heads of Yuanmingyuan have returned to the motherland. From the auction of state-owned enterprises in Niushou, hushou and houshou, to the donation of Chinese merchants in horse and pig heads, to the return of foreign friends in mouse and rabbit heads, the animal heads in Yuanmingyuan have gone through the path of returning lost cultural relics in China from scattered to reunited. It is worth mentioning that the pig head bronze statue was also purchased by HO in 2003 and sent back to the state. After the donation ceremony, the bronze statue of horse head and six other bronze statues of animal head will gather in the capital and be jointly displayed in the road to return - the 70 anniversary of the founding of new China lost cultural relics return achievement exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of culture and tourism and the State Administration of cultural relics. As of November 27, the public can have a look at the charm of exhibition halls 2 and 3 in the north of China National Museum. On November 27, after the exhibition, the bronze statue of horse head will be collected in Beijing Yuanmingyuan Management Office, which is also the first animal head to be collected in Yuanmingyuan. It has been 159 years since it lost overseas.

Bronze beast of the 12th Chinese zodiac: in the 12th year of Qianlongs reign in the 18th century, the western building in the north of Changchun Garden of the Yuanmingyuan was built, which imitated the baroque style of the Italian Renaissance. Among them, there are western style lofts, such as Yuanying temple, fangwai, Haiyan hall, and Xieyi. The twelve animals in Haiyan hall are all dressed in robes and sit on the high platform. The robes are loose, and the mouth can spit water. The posture is different. Hundreds of years later, the old photos of Dashuifa left the Yuanmingyuan in ruins. Many buildings had been razed to the ground and grass, and there was nothing to depend on even for hanging. The remains of Haiyan hall and its front Dashuifa were as huge and dense as bones. The bronze beasts of the zodiac were displaced in three hundred years, and the visitors lamented the remains, making them the most historical ones The ruins of Pathetique.

Among the twelve animal heads, the nose shape of cattle head and horse head is also worth mentioning. Their noses show their volume by bulge, and have the thickness of nasal cavity, which has the meaning of anatomy. In traditional Chinese sculptures, such as the one on the left side of the front porch of the niches in cave 5 of Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, the nose shape of cattle is concave, and there is no expression of nose thickness. In the same way, the pottery figurines of Taohuashan early Tang Dynasty in Yueyang, Hunan Province, all emphasize the meaning of Kong, which is closely related to the traditional Chinese philosophy. The Western charm and sculpture language tendency of the bronze animal head of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals in the Yuanmingyuan is written in the article.

Chinese traditional sculpture of the Chinese Zodiac

Scholars tend to think that the bronze animal head of the Chinese Zodiac still contains traces of traditional Chinese sculpture techniques. However, its temperament has been westernized for three reasons: first, the Chinese zodiac in the Yuanmingyuan is used as a western style water method, and its aesthetics is more functional; second, the western traditional sculpture pursues the power of realism, so the bronze animal head of the Chinese Zodiac shows a sense of tension and passion with power; third, the Western rational thinking is dominant, and sculpture emphasizes Compared with traditional Chinese sculpture, muscle structure tends to be flat or expressive. 03 where is the head of the twelve zodiac animals? In 1860, the twelve animal heads of the Chinese Zodiac began their exile. After many changes of hands, auctions, donations and collections, they have gone through ups and downs for more than three hundred years. So far, there are seven returns and five missing. Rat head and rabbit head once appeared in the Museum of France for a short exhibition. In 2009, rat head appeared in the auction held by Christies auction company in France. In 2009, rat head was auctioned at a price of 14 million euros. The buyer was Cai Mingchao, the collection consultant of Chinas special fund for salvage and loss of overseas cultural relics, but he said afterwards that he would not pay for it, which led to rat head auction. Finally, the two animal heads were bought by the French Pinot family. In 2013, the Pinot family donated the bronze statue of the rat head to China. At present, both the rabbit head and the rat head are collected in the National Museum of China.

The rabbit head, ox head and tiger head collected in the National Museum of China have been lost overseas since 1860. The houses once appeared in the United States as garden decorations. In the 1980s, entrepreneurs in Taiwan bought bronze statues of cattle and tigers at Sothebys. In 2000, the Chinese Poly Group purchased cattle heads at Christies auction house in Hong Kong for HK $7.745 million and tiger heads at Sothebys auction house for HK $15.4447 million. Now they are all in the Poly Art Museum. Monkey head was purchased by China Poly Group at Christies auction house and is now in Poly Art Museum. The pig head was purchased by a museum in the United States in 1987. In 2003, he Hongshen, an entrepreneur, paid for the acquisition and donation to the Poly Art Museum. As for the amount of money paid, poly did not disclose that it is said to be less than HK $7 million. At present, the pig head is collected in the Poly Art Museum. In 2018, a bronze dragon head was auctioned at an auction house in Paris, France. According to some researchers, it was suspected to be the dragon head among the twelve animal heads of the Yuanmingyuan Chinese zodiac. After a short dispute, it ended. The bronze animal head of the twelve zodiac animals in the Yuanmingyuan is far more significant than the value of art. These twelve animal heads have become the symbol of Chinas most miserable and humiliating history and the representative of countless Chinese cultural relics that have been exiled from their homeland. Every time they appear, every auction, it is like tearing open the humiliating wound again, which affects the hearts of millions of people. The twelve animal heads of the Chinese zodiac in Yuanmingyuan are the crystallization of thousands of years of cultural heritage of our Chinese nation, symbolizing the strength of the nation and also witnessing the changes of history. Xie Chensheng, a famous cultural relic expert and honorary president of the Chinese society of cultural relics, said that the bronze statue of the animal head of the Chinese zodiac is only a building component. If it is not connected with the Yuanmingyuan and the invasion of the British and French allied forces, its value cannot be so high. But because of these connections, it has a new value, which is the witness of national humiliation. However, looking back on the bumpy return road of the first 12 beasts in the past 20 years, we seem to fall into the trap jointly weaved by invaders and cultural relics brokers. They aim at the money bags that the Chinese have just raised. On the one hand, they operate Chinese cultural relics in the international auction market at high prices. On the other hand, they make a fortune by taking advantage of the patriotic feelings of Chinese people. We spent a lot of money to buy what belongs to us again and again, and experienced the painful second plunder.

The process of cultural relic return is difficult. They were born in the prosperous era of dynasty hundreds of years ago. They have their own glory and glory. But at the same time, they also witnessed the decline of a dynasty and the short sleep of a nation. After thousands of hardships, their brilliance is covered by dust, but what will never change is that they are the cultural treasures of the Chinese nation. They are the witnesses of the Chinese nation from sleeping to waking up to rising in the past few centuries. They have a new mission given by fate in the new era. May the twelve animal heads be reunited as soon as possible. Yuanmingyuan bull head bronze statue, purchased by Poly Group, collected by Poly Art Museum; Yuanmingyuan tiger head bronze statue, purchased by Poly Group, collected by Poly Art Museum; Yuanmingyuan monkey head bronze statue, purchased by Poly Group, collected by Poly Art Museum; Yuanmingyuan pig head bronze statue, donated by Mr. ho Hongshen, collected by Poly Art Museum; Yuanmingyuan horse head bronze statue, collected by Mr. ho Hongshen Donation, collected by Yuanmingyuan Management Office; mouse head bronze statue of Yuanmingyuan, donated by Mr. Franois Pinot, collected by China National Museum; rabbit head bronze statue of Yuanmingyuan, donated by Mr. Franois Pinot, collected by China National Museum; dragon head bronze statue of Yuanmingyuan, possibly collected by private collectors in Taiwan; snake head, sheep head, chicken head and dog head of Yuanmingyuan are missing.

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