Smuggling fuels worldwide trade in Chinese antiquities

Smuggling fuels worldwide trade in Chinese antiquities

Here is an excerpt from an interesting article I found on yahoo about Hong Kong’s Hollywood road:

“On Hollywood Road, Hong Kong’s famed strip of art and antique outlets, the shopfronts provide a veritable tour of Chinese and Asian history, selling everything from Tibetan temple carpets and centuries-old Chinese wedding cabinets to giant Cambodian and Burmese Buddhas that arrive in wooden crates.”

Shop keepers will gladly provide a potted history of each object, with details of how it was unearthed — perhaps by Chinese peasants dropping dynamite down sink holes in Shanxi province to find well stocked burial chambers.

Apparently genuine, the items are clearly labelled and many are still covered in soil to prove that they have only recently been unearthed from their ancient Chinese resting places.

Experts in Hong Kong say that most of the Chinese ceramics for sale on Hollywood Road have been smuggled in from China — in contravention of Chinese law — and that their murky provenance is an open secret.
The original article is located here.

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