In an article by Reuters, the Chinese government identified the U.S. as the leading country guilty of harboring stolen Chinese relics.
Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, called on the United States to sign a memorandum of understanding with China to speed up cooperation in preventing relics’ theft and illegal trade.
While American scholars and archaeologists support China’s efforts to stop the illegal relics trade, museum directors and collectors have been resistant.
China has had a spotty history in preserving its artifacts. During the Cultural Revolution many of these were destroyed by Mao Zedong’s Red Guards.
However, now as the market drives up the demand for Chinese art, the debate over who owns these treasures heats up.