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Paris court rejects bid to block Chinese relics' auction

A COURT in Paris early this morning rejected a request from Chinese lawyers that it stop the auction of two relics looted from Beijing's Old Summer Palace

The court ruled that the applicant, the Association for the Protection of Chinese Art in Europe, had no rights in the matter and ordered it to pay 1,000 euros to the defendants, China News Service reported.

Liu Yang, who led the lawyers seeking the injunction, said the verdict was a pity but despite that people had heard China's opinion and had learned about the looting and burning of the palace by French and British forces during the Second Opium War in 1860.

They would continue the legal battle and try to stop the auction, Liu said.

Christie's auction house, one of the defendants, is scheduled to auction on Wednesday the bronzes of a rabbit and a rat head from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that had adorned the Old Summer Palace nearly 150 years ago.

According to the UNESCO Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, any cultural relics looted or lost during war should be returned without a time limitation.


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