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Journeys in Time 2010-05-08 National Treasures - Trial of strength

05-08-2010 16:49 BJT


Henan and Shaanxi provinces are two of the richest sources of ancient tombs in the country. In fact, back in the 1980s there was a popular saying in these two regions: “If you want to make your fortune overnight, dig up an ancient tomb.” Sadly, tomb robbery, relics trafficking and smuggling were rife. The criminals were always inventive – relics could be smuggled, for example, in hand luggage, in posted packages, and inside secret compartments in a container. As the criminals became more ingenious, so the police and customs officers were obliged to be more alert. 

Thanks to the alertness of the customs officers, nearly two thousand relics were saved from being smuggled out of the country. And while the experts set about examining and cataloguing all the relics, the customs officers and police headed for Beijing, to investigate further.

The investigation team included some fine police officers. However, when it came to antiques, their knowledge and experience were lacking. This created serious difficulties in dealing with the case.

In the 150 years since the Opium Wars, millions of cultural relics have been smuggled out of China. Among them are some of the most valuable items ever found. Most of the smuggling went on in the years before New China was founded. In recent years, in combination with the efforts to clamp down on smuggling, the authorities have also been working to recover relics taken overseas, and bring them back to China. However, these efforts have not always been successful, and a lot of hard work remains to be done.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV.CN

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