US returns 38 pieces of cultural relics to China, signaling enhanced cultural exchanges

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-18 09:09
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Staff members check the condition of returned Chinese cultural objects at a handover ceremony at the Chinese Consulate General in New York, the United States, on April 17, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

"For cultural heritage, what it does is it brings us all together...We have far more in common when we roll up our sleeves and get to work returning these antiquities where they belong because that's our only goal," said Bogdanos.

Most of the 38 pieces of cultural relics returned Wednesday are Tibetan Buddhist artifacts from China, dating from the Yuan to Ming and Qing dynasties, with a rich variety and exquisite craftsmanship. Among them, ivory carvings, wooden sculptures, and fragments of murals are particularly rare and hold significant historical, artistic, and scientific value.

These artifacts were seized by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in March. After receiving the artifacts in New York, the National Cultural Heritage Administration will arrange for their timely return to China.

China and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to prevent the illegal importation of Chinese cultural artifacts into the United States in January 2009. Its validity has been extended for the third time, starting from Jan. 14 this year.

Wednesday's handover marks the first successful artifact repatriation cooperation between the two countries since the agreement's renewal.

So far 504 pieces or sets of Chinese cultural relics have been delivered in 15 batches from the United States to China.

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