mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Our version of the Elgin Marbles

M was wondering just how the fajita the tomb of a famous Ming general wound up in Toronto. It came via one George Crofts, a fur trader in China, who seems to have bought and shipped just about anything he liked, and sent the tomb along in the early 1920s. It was activities like his that led China to ban the export of antiquities in 1930.

Note that the bulk of the ROM's Chinese collection came from the infamous Bishop White, who knowingly smuggled antiquities out after the ban came into effect. I'd thought it was Currelly, the museum's then director, who characterized White as a pirate, but it seems the two were in cahoots.

Evidently Chinese commentators have demanded the return of the White collection, but I wonder if anyone's said anything about General Zu's tomb, now that it's been established as actually his.
Tags: china
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