Chinese Bronzes Looted from the Tombs of Royalty
Chinese Shang Dynasty bronzes if you have ever seen any in person, then know that they have never been handed down from generation to generation, Only the Royalty families would have them, they valued them more than Gold and the bronzes would get buried with them. No peasant or farmer or anyone else was aloud to own them, They were made for the elite only, Kings, Queens and relatives of them and the Royal court generals etc...
To own a Shang or Zhou dynasty bronze, It would have been buried for nearly 3000 years and then dug up and sold like most have been, and it would have been from a famous important person of that time
These Chinese bronzes are so highly sought after, they are like the diamonds in Africa, about 90% or more of all Royal Tombs have been looted, they are like the Rhino horns, you can`t stop the theft. One should not rob the graves but because of their value it has caused the thieves to come out at night - read more below...
Most Bronzes even in museums or private collections have been bought secretly or by the underground market
When France invaded China during the opium wars they took back with them many ancient relics, when Japan came into China in 1938 they took many relics as well, England did the same, this was not bought legally and even in Taiwan`s museum is housed many of the forbidden cities relics when some Chinese left in 1912, some of these ancient relics were moved a few times to keep them safe from wars and threats, many of them were moved to Nanjing first and put in caves or buried, Nanjing being the south capital
It is under my opinion that none or very few relics, bronzes or art have been sold by the China government directly
It`s the farmers, the Gang members or professional thieves that sell these relics to the open market, they are highly valued and sought after from all countries, there is a demand for them, and many have gotten rich from them, legally or illegally and that is the way it is and will be for a long time
Some Tombs or graves had over 400 bronzes found in them among other items like Jade, take a look at Fu Hao`s Tomb, she was King Wu Ding`s wife - below... about 1200 BC she died, this Tomb was dug up in 1976
and Fu Hao was one of the only women generals in the Shang Army from the Shang Dynasty
How ever,many Tombs have been robbed, Her Tomb was never robbed and one of the only ones not robbed
According to an article written by FactsandDetails.com 220,000 tombs have been robbed between 1998 and 2003, the saying goes "To be rich open up a ancient tomb" farmers, gang members and professional robbers are doing this looting, mostly at night
Read these 2 different articles - Looting Tombs in China
Click the article to read more
Here is the second article