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Experts hunt lost palace relics

EXPERTS sent by Beijing's Yuanmingyuan authorities will start a global hunt for 1.5 million relics looted from the Old Summer Palace during the second opium war in 1860.

The team will visit museums and universities in North America, Europe and Japan next month to register lost artifacts of Yuanmingyuan, formerly the Old Summer palace. This is the first time the park has searched for looted artifacts, according to today's Oriental Morning Post.

"Though these relics definitely belong to China, our search this time isn't aimed at getting them back," said Chen Mingjie, an official with Yuanmingyuan. "We'll just take pictures of them for cataloging."

Chen said an estimated 1.5 million artifacts are believed to have been looted from the site by British and French troops, and scattered around the world.

The expert panel includes officials from the park and professors from Tsinghua University. They are convinced that they have already located a good many relics in British and French museums.

A TV documentary will be made about the hunt for the lost treasures, according to the report.

Known for its extensive collection of gardens, architecture, and other works of art, the Old Summer Palace was built in the 18th century.


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