Twelve animal sculptures from Yuan Ming Yuan (also called the Old Summer Palace) which were taken out of China by the Anglo-French Allied Forces during the Second Opium War in 1860 have been successfully replicated by Ji Guge, an old brand workshop that specializes in repairs, processing and reproduction of cultural relics in Beijing.
One of the replicas of 12 animal sculptures from Yuan Ming Yuan, dragon. Photo taken at Ji Guge on September 13.
The twelve animal sculptures are the greatest representations of the blend between Eastern and Western cultures. They stand on the banks of Hai Yantang, one of the most famous sites inside Yuan Ming Yuan. These hollow animal sculptures have water pipes protruding from their mouths that project water every two hours. They consist of a carved stone human body with an animal head made of bronze.
From 2000 to 2003, four of the sculptures: the ox, the tiger, the monkey and the pig were regained from various auctions at a total cost of 37 million yuan (US$4.9 milion) and returned to China. The whereabouts of the remaining animals are either unknown or in the collections of foreign museums and individuals.
In order to share the past splendor and artistic triumph of these works of art with the public, Ji Guge created replicas of all 12 animal sculptures based on extensive research from historical records.
The replicas of 12 animal sculptures from Yuan Ming Yuan were unveiled in Beijing. Photo taken at Ji Guge on September 13.
(CRI.cn September 14, 2007)