China state media calls on British Museum to return artefacts

A call for the British Museum to return Chinese artefacts after the recent theft of about 2,000 items is heating up social media in the country.
The demand became the most trending topic on Weibo after an editorial in a state-run nationalist newspaper, BBC reported.
In the piece published on Sunday night, Global Times asked the museum to give back all Chinese cultural relics “free of charge”.
The Chinese government has not commented on the issue yet.
The BBC has reached out to the British Museum for comment but is yet to hear back.
The museum has been under pressure after around 2,000 items were reported “missing, stolen or damaged” two weeks ago.
A member of staff was sacked when the news first came out. Last week, its director Hartwig Fischer also announced he would step down.
In its article, Global Times argued that the world-renowned museum has failed to take good care of “cultural property belonging to other countries”.
“The huge loopholes in the management and security of cultural objects in the British Museum exposed by this scandal have led to the collapse of a long-standing and widely circulated claim that ‘foreign cultural objects are better protected in the British Museum’,” the editorial reads.
The British Museum has the biggest collection of Chinese antiquities in the West. According to its website, it has about 23,000 Chinese objects, spanning from the Neolithic age to the present.
These include a large range of precious items such as paintings, prints, jade, bronzes and ceramics. One of the most famous is the reproduction of a scroll called ‘Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies’, a masterpiece considered a milestone in Chinese art history.
This is not the first time Chinese netizens have called on the British Museum to return artefacts in recent years amid a rise in nationalist sentiment.

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