Chinese Statue Returned to Proper Officials by Australian Authorities
An illegally exported Chinese statue created during the Qing Dynasty was returned by Australian authorities. Customs officials seized the stolen figure at the border. At a ceremony at the Chinese Embassy in Canberra the statue of Guanyin which is revered by Buddhist and Taoist was turned over by Australian authorities in accordance to the bilateral commitment in returning and protecting cultural property.
Guanyin known also as Quan Yin or Kwan Yin is a east Asian deity of compassion and mercy. By returning the icon follows a previous returns of items that have cultural; significance ranging from fossils to dinosaur eggs to China, there were also antiquities coming from Egypt and Peru, iron ornaments from Cambodia that were also turned over the proper authorities.
The Guanyin icon was illegally exported from China and was in breach of Chinese cultural laws. It was said an eBay dealer based in the United States purchased the statue but was seized by the Australian Customs and Border Protection after it arrived in Australia. Senator George Brandis Australia’s Minister of the Arts stated that Australia’s commitment in protecting cultural heritage was demonstrated by their ability in identifying, seizing and facilitate the return of cultural items.