China Slams Auction of Looted Relics

Christie's denies request to halt sale of Beijing palace booty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 6:42 AM CST
A rare bronze rabbit head made for the zodiac fountain of the emperor Qianlong's summer Palace is auctioned at the Grand Palais in Paris.   (AP Photo/Jacques brinon)
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(Newser) – A Christie's auction of two relics looted from Beijing's Summer Palace 150 years ago has infuriated China, the BBC reports. A statement from the country's cultural agency denounced the "illegal" sale and warned of unspecified consequences. The bronze rat and rabbit, seized by invading French and British troops, sold for almost $40 million in the Paris sale of the collection of the late Yves St. Laurent.