Tags: terracotta | warrior | thumb | theft | severely | punished

Terracotta Warrior Thumb Theft Should Be 'Severely Punished': China

Image: Terracotta Warrior Thumb Theft Should Be 'Severely Punished': China
Terracotta warriors from the burial complex of China's Emperor Qin Shi Huang are on show at the World museum in Liverpool on Feb. 6, 2018. An American stole the thumb of a terracotta warrior on display in the U.S. and China is furious. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 19 February 2018 03:16 PM

Following the December theft of a thumb from a terracotta warrior, China has called for the thief who defaced the 2,000-year-old sculpture while it was on display at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute to be "severely punished."

The head of the group that loaned the statues to the Franklin Institute, Wu Haiyun, told Chinese television a “serious protest” has been lodged with the U.S. over the incident, The Guardian reported. “We ask that the U.S. severely punish the perpetrator,” Haiyun said. 

“The terracotta warriors are national treasures. ... We express strong resentment and condemnation toward this theft and the destruction of our heritage,” a Chinese official also said, the South China Morning Post reported.

The FBI used surveillance footage and credit card transactions to track down the thumb at the home of Michael Rohana, 24, after he allegedly entered the exhibit during a pre-Christmas party to take a selfie, snapped off a piece of the thumb, and put it in his pocket, The Guardian reported.

China’s official news agency Xinhua reported Rohana admitted to authorities he had the thumb piece in a desk drawer. He has been charged with theft and concealment of a major artwork from a museum and interstate transportation of stolen property.

Rohana is now out on bail and has handed over his passport, Xinhua reported. 

The statue Rohana allegedly defaced is called the Cavalryman and dates to around 210 B.C. The museum has said the statue valued at $4.5 million will be repaired. 

The room where the Cavalryman was exhibited was left unlocked on the night of the party in violation of museum procedures, allowing Rohana to enter, Xinhua reported. 

The terracotta warrior statues were excavated in 1974 and were an 8,000 member strong stone army that was buried with China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang to protect and guard his tomb.

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Following the theft of a thumb from a terracotta warrior on display in Philadelphia in December, China has called for the thief who defaced the 2,000-year-old sculpture to be "severely punished."
terracotta, warrior, thumb, theft, severely, punished
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2018-16-19
Monday, 19 February 2018 03:16 PM
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