A Chinese terracotta warrior, which was damaged while on display in the U.S., has returned to China this month. Chinese authorities noted that such vandalism would not hinder Sino-U.S. cultural exchange, though urging the U.S. side to better protect loaned cultural relics in the future.
The life-sized terracotta warrior statue, which was on loan by the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Center and displayed at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, succumbed to bodily harm in January after a man snuck into the exhibit and broke off and pocketed its thumb. The cavalryman statue dates back to at least 209 B.C and is one of 10 Chinese terracotta warrior statues on display in the U.S. The exhibit was ended on March 4.
According to CGTN, the Philadelphia City Council has apologized for the vandalism, while the official apology was sent to the Chinese Consulate General in New York, which forwarded it to the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Center in April.
Confirming receipt of the apology, an official from the Shaanxi cultural relics bureau told Science and Technology Daily that the mayor of Philadelphia has sent a written document regarding the vandalism to Chinese authorities, while the case is now undergoing legal hearings in the U.S. The Chinese side will keep calling the perpetrator to account for the damage.
"Sino-U.S. cultural cooperation will not be hindered by the vandalism, but security measures regarding cultural relics lent to foreign countries must be strengthened and upgraded in the future. According to former agreements signed between China and the U.S., there will be more cultural relics including the terracotta warriors travelling to the U.S. to be displayed in the future," he added.
Local authorities also noted that the restoration work of the damaged terracotta warrior has already started.