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French for returning bronzes to China

[ 2009-03-06 11:31]     字号 [] [] []  
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An overwhelming majority of French people feel that two Chinese bronze sculptures that were auctioned last week should be given to China but the country's ambassador to China said the French government would not intervene in the "private matter".

The bronze heads of a rat and a rabbit fetched 15 million euros ($20 million) each at a Christie's auction in Paris on Feb 25. A Chinese antique collector later announced that he had made the winning bid but refused to make the payment as he wanted to block the sale.

"This is a private matter," French ambassador Herve Ladsous told China Daily yesterday. "The (French) government has nothing to do with this matter."

Ladsous' statement came despite the popular belief in France that the sculptures should be given to China.

An online survey, by Le Figaro newspaper, showed that more than 80 percent respondents said the bronze heads should be returned to China, the Nouvelles d'Europe daily reported on Wednesday.

Of the 51,680 respondents surveyed, 81.5 percent said "Yes" when asked: "Do you agree Pierre Berge (the current owner of the bronzes) should return the two bronzes to China as Beijing requested?" Only 18.5 percent replied in the negative.

"We should understand why they want the two bronzes back ... Just think about how they came to France," one respondent said.

The bronze heads were part of the Chinese zodiac's 12 animals at the Old Summer Palace. They were looted by invading Anglo-French troops during a war in 1860.

Christie's has not said what action it will take against the Chinese dealer who thwarted the sale. The French media, however, has reported that the relics will stay in France as Berge is "thrilled to keep them".


1. Which French newspaper ran the online survey that showed more than 80 percent of respondents believed the bronze heads should be returned to China?

2. What is the name of the individual who is reportedly, “thrilled to keep the statues”?


1. Le Figaro.

2. Pierre Berge.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

French for returning bronzes to China

French for returning bronzes to ChinaBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.