Sydney, Australia, Oct 26 (EFE).- The Australian government has returned to China three historical objects that were smuggled out of the Asian country in a fresh attempt to normalize bilateral relations between Canberra and Beijing.
A polychrome sculpture of a rider playing a wind instrument on horseback. EFE-EPA/Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts/EDITORIAL USE ONLY ONLY AVAILABLE TO ILLUSTRATE THE ACCOMPANYING NEWS (MANDATORY CREDIT)
The Chinese heritage objects seized by the customs authorities on an unspecified date and under unspecified circumstances include a fossil of a Hyphalosaurus, an extinct long-necked reptile that lived in northeastern China more than 120 million years ago.
A gilt bronze figurine of the Buddhist deity Avalokitesvara. EFE-EPA/Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts/EDITORIAL USE ONLY ONLY AVAILABLE TO ILLUSTRATE THE ACCOMPANYING NEWS (MANDATORY CREDIT)
A polychrome sculpture of a rider playing a wind instrument on horseback and a gilt bronze figurine of the Buddhist deity Avalokitesvara, who embodies virtue and compassion, completed the list, Australian Minister of the Arts Tony Burke said in a statement.
The two sculptures, which were part of religious rites, belong to the Tang dynasty, which ruled between 618 and 907 AD and is considered a golden period of the Chinese civilization.
China’s embassy in Australia returned the three historical pieces to Beijing on Wednesday.
“Today we have witnessed how two nations can collaborate effectively to return cultural property to its rightful home,” Burke said.
In August, the National Gallery of Australia announced that it would return to Cambodia three sculptures more than a thousand years old that the late British collector Douglas A. J. Latchford, responsible for the looting of dozens of Cambodian works, sold to it in 2011.
In 2020, the Australian government handed over four archaeological pieces to Mexico, dating back to between 800 and 500 BC. EFE