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Ancient murals of stolen Tang tomb back to China

05-12-2011 09:27 BJT

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A six-year hunt for treasures stolen from a Tang Empress' tomb has come to a successful end. Police in Xi'an have finally retrieved five murals that were sold overseas.

On Wednesday, the murals were handed over to the Sha'anxi History Museum.

Many people are thrilled about the return of the five intact murals, which date back a thousand years.

Due to the long duration underground and the fragile material, very few ancient murals that have been unearthed still maintain their original painting and colors.

Xu Tao, archaeologist, said, "These murals possess a high artistic value. They are from an imperial tomb and must have been painted by top artists. Also, it is rare that such old murals maintain their original appearances so well."

The murals are from a single painting on the tomb's wall and depict the female entourage of the Tang Empress.

The tradition of painting murals on tomb walls has a long history in China. The earliest relic found so far traces back to the Han Dynasty over 2000 years go.

The craftsmanship came to a pinnacle in the Tang Dynasty.

Police in Xi'an have finally retrieved five murals that were sold overseas.

The area surrounding Xi'an, the former capital city of the Tang Dynasty, was a center of tomb murals. The pictures may not have been executed by the most famous artists of the era, but they do reflect a high level of technique.

The study on tomb murals is expected to shed new light on the complete history of fine arts in the Tang Dynasty.

The murals are from a single painting on the tomb's wall and
depict the female entourage of the Tang Empress.

 


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