China to auction returned Tibetan relics
Thirty-two Tibetan cultural relics returned to the mainland will be auctioned by Chengming International Auction Company on September 17 in Beijing. The relics are now on display at the Asia Hotel until September 15.
Huang Jing, president of Chengming International Auction Company, said these relics, held previously by a Taiwan collector, are all from Tibet and most of them are connected with Tibetan Buddhism.
Experts say these relics are of high historical and artistic value. One of the relics, a jade piece dubbed "Seven Treasures", is said to be worth an estimated 800,000 yuan (about US$98,800) to 1.2 million yuan (about US$148,300).
According to the history books, the sixth Panchen Lama went to the Chengde Mountain Resort in Hebei Province to present gifts to Qing Emperor Qianlong on the occasion of the emperor's 70th birthday in 1781. In return, the emperor gave Panchen Lama the "Seven Treasures".
Huang said that the relics are worth a total of about 50 million yuan (about US$6.2 million). According to the auction law and cultural relics protection law of the People's Republic of China, the relics, because they were retrieved from Taiwan, may be bought by foreign merchants and taken out of the country again.
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