Antique paintings find their way back to China

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 12, 2020
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Five Chinese antique paintings from overseas were shown at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), marking the first time for such antiques to appear in the high-profile trade event.

An ancient Chinese painting displayed at Golden Line booth during the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), Nov. 10, 2020. [Photo/]

The appearance of the five ancient Chinese paintings from overseas attracted much attention and led to their purchase by a domestic buyer. This is the first time that cultural relics exhibits have been shown at the CIIE. Once the transactions are completed, they will enjoy the preferential tax reduction and exemption policies offered by the CIIE, and will be exhibited in State-owned cultural relics collection institutions for three years.

The exhibition of cultural relics means that, through the opportunities offered by the CIIE, foreign-invested companies can conduct exhibition and sale of cultural relics, antiquities and collections in China for the first time. 

Behind the scenes lies joint efforts of multiple government departments to greatly expand the channel for the return of lost Chinese cultural relics from overseas, according to the exhibitor, the Hong Kong-based Golden Line Import & Export Trading Co. Ltd.

The five paintings by famous Chinese artists Shen Zhou, Zhao Boju and Qiu Ying living during the time of the Song and Ming dynasties are offered from a veteran Japanese collector, the company's senior project manager Ji Xiaomeng told, after the CIIE closed on Nov. 10, adding: "A number of buyers have approached us, and one individual collector from Shandong province has now bought all these works."

In order to support the CIIE and facilitate the return of overseas Chinese cultural relics, on Oct. 12, the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs, and the State Administration of Taxation jointly issued a notice on preferential tax policies for imported exhibits sold during the CIIE, allowing each exhibitor selling artworks, collectibles and antiquities exhibits to enjoy the benefits up to a maximum of five items. 

An ancient Chinese painting displayed at Golden Line booth during the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), Nov. 10, 2020. [Photo/]

The National Cultural Heritage Administration also issued an announcement supporting the supervision and facilitation measures of cultural relics exhibits at the expo on Oct. 28, subject to these relics sold at the event being covered by a three-year public welfare display in State-owned cultural relics collection institutions.

This has effectively maximized the significance of the people-to-people and cultural exchange platform of the expo and further opened up channels to enable overseas Chinese cultural relics to return to China smoothly.

"The expo and the favorable policies this year have provided a display platform and channel for overseas professional cultural relics and arts management agencies like ourselves, so that we can bring precious cultural relics and art works to the expo, and to China. The trade of arts is more convenient, and it is also conducive to cultural exchanges at home and abroad, " Ji said.  

Due to time constraints and limited exhibition conditions, only these five paintings were brought forward at the expo, she said, adding, however, that the expo's appeal is constantly being upgraded, and "collectors and institutions from the United States, Europe and many other places in the world have expressed to us their strong willingness to participate in exhibition at the trade expo next year."

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