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Vandalized Terracotta Warrior on the mend in Shaanxi

By Cheng Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-10 16:54

The thumb of a 2,000-year-old terracotta warrior was stolen while on display at the Franklin Institute. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Terracotta Warrior statue that had its left thumb snapped off by a vandal at an exhibit in the United States is undergoing repairs in Shaanxi province, Science and Technology Daily reported on Tuesday.

More than 100 rare cultural items, including the thumbless statue, were transported back to museums and cultural relic bureaus in the province after wrapping up a half-year tour across the US in early April.

Michael Rohana, 24, from Delaware, allegedly sneaked into the exhibit venue at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on Dec 21 and broke off the warrior's left thumb after taking a selfie with the ancient figure.

The stolen appendage was found in Rohana's home five days after museum workers noticed the thumb was missing on Jan 8 and tracked the suspect down using security camera footage.

He was detained by police and released on bail.

The city council of Philadelphia offered an apology for the damage caused to the statue on March 13.

The Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Bureau said the ongoing robust cultural exchanges between China and the US will not be affected due to the individual act of vandalism, but security measures for high-value cultural relics will be improved.

"Terracotta Warriors, with their priceless cultural, historical, aesthetic and academic value, are among the most precious treasures of the nation," said an employee with the bureau.

"Nearly 300 exhibits themed around cultural relics unearthed in Shaanxi were held in over 60 foreign countries over the past four decades, helping promote traditional Chinese culture."

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