Plundering the Past: Restoring the Garden of Perfect Brightness

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

The Chinese government brings a series of broze animal heads home

by David Johnson

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In May the Chinese government spent $4 million to purchase a series of bronze animal heads that were being auctioned by the Sothebys and Christie's auction houses in Hong Kong. The stolen animal heads had decorated a zodiac fountain at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing's Garden of Perfect Brightness.

British and French troops ransacked the palace and burned it to the ground in 1860 in an effort to force China to accept the opium trade. Today, the complex has been rebuilt as a museum.

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