Smuggling fuels worldwide trade in Chinese antiquities





Lucky fat ladies, porcelain pigs, ceramic musicians and giant Buddhas are crammed into Hong Kong's antique boutiques, but some experts, backed by Chinese law, say many of them shouldn't be here at all.

By a curious twist of history and geopolitics, Hong Kong has become the legitimate outlet for ill-gotten treasures of Chinese history, a legal market for illegally obtained objets d'art that can and do command huge sums.

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.


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