The Chinese authorities are requesting that the author of the recent vandalization act of a 200-year-old terracotta warrior statue be severely reprimanded. According to the allegations, back in December, while attending an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, a man entered the Chinese Terracotta army exhibition, snapped one of the statue’s fingers and slipped it in his pocket.
US Man Allegedly Wanted the Terracotta Warrior Finger as Keepsake
According to the investigation spearheaded by the FBI, last year, during the Ugly Sweater Party hosted by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, 24-year-old Michael Rohana, a US partygoer, somehow managed to slip off during the party and break into the museum’s terracotta soldier exhibition.
As part of a cultural exchange program, the Chinese government lent ten terracotta soldiers to the Philadelphia Institute. While in the room with the exhibition, Rohana allegedly took out his phone and snapped a selfie of him and one of the terracotta soldiers.
The man left the room, but not before snapping off one of the statues’ fingers, which he then placed in his coat’s pocket. The 2000-year-old statue’ worth has been estimated at $4.5 million.
Still, the theft went unnoticed for a couple of weeks. The Franklin’s institutes employees notified the authorities who, in turn, analyzed the security tapes. Their searches led them to Rohana’s apartment.
According to the authorities, the man kept the statue’s finger inside a drawer and claimed that he only wanted a souvenir. For his deed, the 24-year-old was charged with concealment of major artwork and theft.
Although the man is currently booked into county jail, the Chinese authorities are demanding compensation for the damage and asked that the perpetrator be severely punished for his deed. Following the incident, the Chinese government might review its policy of lending works of art for unlocked displays.
Image source: Pixabay