Partygoer stole museum statue's left thumb after selfie

The Chinese authorities are requesting that the author of the recent vandalization act of a 200-year-old terracotta warrior statue be severely reprimanded.

Rohana reportedly broke off the 2000-year-old display's left thumb before stealing it from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia during an "ugly Christmas jumper party" last December.

HONG KONG-The warrior was a symbol of martial strength, moulded from terracotta and buried more than 2,000 years ago with China's first emperor to defend him in the afterlife.

Rohana then appeared to break off the statue's left thumb and pocket it before leaving the event with friends.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an arrest affidavit, Rohana "used a cellular telephone as a flashlight, looked at various exhibits displayed in the then-closed showroom, stepped up onto a platform supporting one of the statutes, and took a selfie with it", reported China's official Xinhua News Agency. They are considered one of China's most important archeological finds. Rohana pocketed the warrior's thumb and took it home with him to DE that evening.

The Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre loaned 10 of the prized statues to the USA institution.

A museum worker discovered the missing thumb on January 8, and the FBI Art Crime Unit began to investigate.

News of Rohana's alleged assault on the 210 B.C. -era statue has angered China, which reveres the thousands of terra-cotta warrior statues as treasured cultural artifacts.


He was released on bail on February 13.

"We ask that the USA severely punish the perpetrator", the organization's Wu Haiyun said, according to the BBC.

When FBI agent Jacob Archer went to interview Rohana and asked if he had anything "that he wanted to turn over to the FBI", Rohana handed over the thumb, which was in the desk in his bedroom.

Wu also "strongly condemned" Franklin and said it was "careless" to let the theft happen. The statues are on display at the museum until March 4.

Another group of 10 terracotta warriors are on display at the World Museum in the British city of Liverpool, where they will remain until October.

The terracotta warrior statues were excavated in 1974 and were an 8,000 member strong stone army that was buried with China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang to protect and guard his tomb.

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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