Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Man steals thumb of ancient terracotta warrior during museum party

Man steals thumb of ancient terracotta warrior during museum party

The incident occurred on December 21 but museum staff didn't notice the missing thumb until January 8. Taking the piece with him, he left with friends for his home in Delaware.

A USA attorney has made a decision to charge him with theft of a major artwork from a museum, concealment of major artwork stolen from a museum, and interstate transportation of stolen property. He was released on bail. Rohana did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Archer said he had visited Rohana at his home in Bear, Del.

Rohana took the agent upstairs and showed him the missing thumb, which he pulled out of his desk drawer, the affidavit said. The 2,000-year-old statue is one of ten works on loan from the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre, which told Chinese media that it had never experienced "such a noxious incident".

"We ask that the USA severely punish the perpetrator".

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"The terracotta warriors are national treasures of our country", the official was quoted as saying.

Wu also "strongly condemned" Franklin and said it was "careless" to let the theft happen.

The center has offered to send its own experts to the institute to help fix the statue, but will file a "claim for compensation", according to news reports.

The exhibit is open through March 4.

The Franklin Institute said in a statement that a security contractor failed to follow "standard closing procedures" on the night Rohana took the finger, behavior the museum called "deplorable".

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A Xinhua report said the cultural centre had established an emergency team to handle the matter and initiated procedures for claiming compensation from the United States institute, based on an agreement signed by both parties.

"It was a very regrettable and unfortunate incident", said Victor Gao, a current affairs commentator who accompanied former President Richard Nixon when he visited the museum housing the terra-cotta warriors in 1985. This was a deplorable act, and we share in the condemnation of this crime as expressed by our partners at the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center. The terracotta army guards the burial site of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor.

The warrior statues date back to 209 B.C., when the Qin Dynasty ruled China.

The Franklin Institute has the utmost respect for the Terracotta Warriors and the rich Chinese cultural heritage they embody.

Numerous statues are on display at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in Xi'an, China, where they are lined up in vast pits.

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