2,000-year-old bronze relics brought home from Japan
An eight-piece set of bronzeware of Chinese origin has been brought home from Japan following five months of pursuit by Chinese authorities, the National Cultural Heritage Administration announced Tuesday.
They are among the most-valued sets of relics that have been successfully sought and brought back to China in recent years after their illegal trade on the international market was stopped, said Guan Qiang, deputy head of the administration.
The bronzeware were identified by researchers to be stolen items from ancient tombs dating back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.) located in Suizhou, central China's Hubei Province.
According to officials, the bronzeware, along with 330 Chinese characters engraved on them, provide researchers with valuable information on the ancient state of Zeng, which is mysteriously absent from historical articles.
The bronzeware returned to China on August 23 thanks to the joint efforts from China's diplomatic, cultural and public security departments, Guan said.
The bronzeware's retrieval was conducted in accordance with international conventions, primarily the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, in cooperation with the Japanese government. It contributed a new practical case to the international recovery and return of lost cultural relics, according to Chinese officials.