Terracotta warriors and horses, which were unearthed during the first excavation from 1978 to 1984, stand inside the No. 1 pit of the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian, Shaanxi province, in China, January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau – RC1F4A4B5F90
2:54 PM 02/20/2018
China wants extreme punishment for an American man who stole part of an ancient statue, a government official said Monday.
Michael Rohana, 24, allegedly broke off and stole a piece of a thumb of a 2,000-year-old Terracotta warrior statue — part of the Franklin Institute exhibit in Philadelphia, according to The New York Post. The alleged thief also took a selfie with the statue while at the ugly-sweater party at the museum on Dec. 21., according to BBC.
Shaanxi Heritage Promotion Center director Wu Haiyun, which the Chinese government runs, wants the alleged thief to face repercussions for damaging the statue. “We ask that the US severely punish the perpetrator,” Haiyun said.
Haiyun also called out the Franklin Institute for not making the exhibit more secure. The museum first noted the missing part of the statue Jan. 8. “We have lodged a serious protest with them,” Haiyun added.
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Rohana later admitted to stealing the fragement and keeping it in his desk drawer. He was charged with theft and later released on bail Feb. 18, according to CNN.
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