This a video talk given by Dr. Justin M. Jacobs, about his new book: The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. Dr Jacobs gives an overview of what looks to be very fascinating study which challenges (contemporary) established narratives surrounding the removal and looting of objects from China during the late 19th and early 20th century.
It’s perhaps not surprising that grave robbing has a long tradition in China – after all, Chinese civilization stretches back several thousand years. But a 21st century twist is turning this age-old crime into an epidemic. Inspired by get-rich-quick yarns and a series of popular novels, young migrant workers and peasants have teamed up in the thousands through internet chat rooms to loot historic tombs in key provinces.