The Buddhas head was found suspected to have been excavated from Longmen Grottoes of China, and was eventually removed before filming. At present, Sothebys official website shows the auction results jumped from No. 4 to No. 6.
A person at the Longmen Grottoes Research Institute, who declined to be named, told Caijing that there are indeed some lost cultural relics in Longmen Grottoes abroad, but they are powerless.
In recent years, China has spared no effort in the overseas search of lost cultural relics, but faced with many obstacles. The future fate of Longmen Grottoess Buddha head is hard to predict.
Sothebys New York September 12 Jonkan: Chinese Buddhist Statue High Ancient Buddha Statue Auction Special Collection of Buddhist Head Statues
The statue of Buddha in the cultural heritage of * * * and the status quo of the 1720 cave of Longmen Grottoes
Suspected Longmen Grottoes Buddha first appeared overseas auction album
This stone Buddha statue of Tang Dynasty was originally an auction item in the special exhibition of Gao Gu Buddha statue of Jonkan: Chinese Buddhism statue. The catalogue shows that the Buddha head statue is 70cm high, valued at 2 million -300 million dollars. It was collected by Stephen, 1978, the famous American collector.
The introduction of Stephen Johnson III said he was born in Budapest in 1905 and established General Machinery Manufacturing Company in 1918. At the peak of his collection, he once had more than 2,000 pieces, including porcelain, jade, bronze, Buddhist statues and so on, creating a brilliant collection of legends in the world. The catalogue also shows that the Buddhist head-of-origin transportation company appeared in the auction catalogue of the transportation company in 1955. Zhang Jingjiang, a wealthy businessman in the Republic of China, founded in 1903 and operated antiques, porcelain, tea and other businesses.
After the launch of Sothebys auction catalogue, it attracted the attention of collectors and ancient statues enthusiasts. Yangxin is a collector of Buddha statues. He told Caijing that after seeing the catalogue on August 28, people began to talk about the authenticity of the pictures in some Wechat groups, and the Buddhist head No. 5 soon attracted attention. I judged that it was genuine. The style of the Tang Dynasty, the majesty of open-faced eyebrows and lips conformed to the characteristics of the times, and the Longmen Grottoes were mostly like this. In order to prove his * * *, he found the cultural history of China written by Japan. The book mainly introduces the representative cultural history of Chinese architecture, religion and art.
Yangxin said he found the Buddha head * * * in the cultural history of China. After repeated comparison with a pair of statues of Buddha in Longmen Grottoes, he decided that he was the same as Buddha No. 5. He also said that searching for the records of cultural relics sold by transportation companies during the period 1920-1949 should be able to find such information as the time of excavation of the Buddhist head.
According to the Beijing Youth Daily, on the afternoon of September 13, the head of the Longmen Grottoes Research Institute said that the stone sculptures of the Buddhas head auctioned at the auction did match the statues of the 1720 grottoes. But we cant make the final judgment just depending on the photos. We must have the chance to see the real thing before we can make the most accurate conclusion.
In response, Sothebys Auction Company on September 14 told the Beijing Youth Daily reporter: We didnt notice a picture of the statue until after our auction catalogue was published. It was very similar to the picture taken by a Japanese photographer in Luoyangs Luomen Grottoes in the 1920s and 1930s.
Sothebys auction company said that after Sothebys discussions with the statues owner, the Jonkins family, the two sides decided to withdraw the auction from a special auction on Sept. 12 to allow more time to examine all possible options.
Where is the difficulty of overseas search for lost cultural relics?
The loss of overseas Chinese cultural relics is serious and has attracted much attention in recent years. The Key Points of the State Administration of Cultural Relics 2017 issued in 2017 puts forward that the management of social cultural relics will be strengthened, the database construction of Chinese lost cultural relics abroad will be strengthened, and new achievements will be made in the recovery and return of cultural relics.
Huo Zhengxin, vice president of the School of International Law of China University of Political Science and Law, told the Financial Journal that, for some suspected cultural relics, the relevant departments should first confirm whether they are lost or not through the efforts of all parties, and through conclusive evidence to prove its theft time, lost time. If the time of loss is in the middle of the last century or in the early part of the last century, it will be very difficult to recover.
Huo Zhengxin said that there are many ways to return cultural relics.
One is through bilateral enforcement. In January 2009, China and the United States signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Import Restrictions on Archaeological Materials Classified from the Paleolithic Age to the Late Tang Dynasty and on Sculptures and Wall Art for at least 250 years, which provides for cultural relics protection, exchange and cooperation, law enforcement and information sharing. The United States law enforcement agencies can initiate the investigation procedure accordingly, and if they confirm that they belong to the cultural relics to be returned in the memorandum, they can initiate the return procedure. In recent years, there have been cultural relics returned each year in this situation, but they are all lost cultural relics in the years after the signing of the memorandum came into force. They have no retrospective effect on the lost cultural relics before the signing of the memorandum. Huo Zheng Xin said. The second is through international litigation. The two are the broad legal channels. But it is difficult to trace it through legal channels, such as, first of all, according to the multilateral agreements, bilateral agreements between China and the United States, and the domestic laws of the United States, to see if there is any legal basis for recourse. Huo Zheng Xin said.
UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illegal Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property in 1970, which protects the ownership of cultural property from infringement, theft, excavation and illegal import and export. China joined the Convention in 1989. The United States also joined the Convention and passed the Convention on the implementation of the Convention on cultural property in 1983.
In this regard, Ho Zhengxin believes that, the binding force of the international convention is weak, and there is no retrospective effect on the loss of cultural and logistics before accession to the convention. The general public believes that stolen and stolen cultural relics should be returned, but in fact it is not so simple, especially the lost cultural relics in history. International law, bilateral treaties and so on have no retrospective effect on the cultural relics lost in history and war before, and the law has been perfected and formulated with the development of human civilization.
Looking at the domestic laws of the United States, there are also many obstacles. The United States has a good faith acquisition system. Collectors probably claim that they did not know stolen cultural relics when they bought them. Even if it is not acquired in good faith, it still faces the limitation of action in American law. Some states in the United States have created a more favorable time for prescription. Therefore, it is also necessary to study international law, domestic law and the laws of the state where the cultural relics are located.
There are still many ways beyond legal proceedings. Mr. Ho said it was also a way to buy back from an auction, but was not much supported. Some domestic state-owned institutions participate in auctions to push up prices. Nowadays, some foreign auctioneers often make the gimmick of robbing cultural relics in China, which leads to high prices and even launches bids among Chinese bidders. Is it not the second time that cultural relics have been robbed and injured in history and are now bought back and competed with each other?
The return of cultural relics can also be done through donation and intergovernmental negotiations. For example, 310 million of Old Summer Palaces animal heads were donated to China by the French Pinot family. France returned to China in 2015 to restore the cultural relics of Dabaozi Mountain hidden in the French Jimei Museum through bilateral intergovernmental negotiations. It was the result of long-term negotiations between the two governments, and France eventually made compromises and concessions and circumvented the constraints of domestic law. Frances Cultural Heritage Law stipulates that all the cultural relics collected by state-owned institutions are French cultural heritage, and the government has no right to hand over ownership to foreign countries. China and France have been negotiating for a long time. The relics of Dabu Zi mountain were originally collected from the Jimei Museum in France and donated by French collectors. Finally, through consultation, the donation was withdrawn first, and then returned to China through the French private collectors, with some detours in the middle. Huo Zheng Xin said. Source: finance editor: Qian Yue Xiao _NBJ10675
The return of cultural relics can also be done through donation and intergovernmental negotiations. For example, 310 million of Old Summer Palaces animal heads were donated to China by the French Pinot family. France returned to China in 2015 to restore the cultural relics of Dabaozi Mountain hidden in the French Jimei Museum through bilateral intergovernmental negotiations. It was the result of long-term negotiations between the two governments, and France eventually made compromises and concessions and circumvented the constraints of domestic law. Frances Cultural Heritage Law stipulates that all the cultural relics collected by state-owned institutions are French cultural heritage, and the government has no right to hand over ownership to foreign countries. China and France have been negotiating for a long time. The relics of Dabu Zi mountain were originally collected from the Jimei Museum in France and donated by French collectors. Finally, through consultation, the donation was withdrawn first, and then returned to China through the French private collectors, with some detours in the middle. Huo Zheng Xin said.