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National Treasures
According to figures from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 200-plus museums in 47 countries house more than 1.6 million Chinese artifacts, while the number in private collections in those countries is more than 10 times than those museums' holdings. That means China's cultural artifacts and pieces of art in foreign countries surpass 10 million
Treasures Abroad
Nowadays, more and more Chinese people are able to afford travel overseas. During their journeys, museums are a must-see, where they not only appreciate foreign art, but also find numerous Chinese cultural relics that they have never seen in China. What has astonished them very often is that so many Chinese cultural relics are well collected in these foreign museums.

Beijing Review reporters Chen Wen and Zan Jifang recently interviewed staff at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harvard Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston, to get a general picture what has happened to China's cultural relics overseas
Heritage Recovery Important Yet Complex
To the present day, only a small fraction of the stolen cultural relics have been brought back to China—by Chinese who have acquired them at auctions
The Genes of Civilization Need Better Protection
China must address challenges of protection of cultural relics housed in museums or in store, given the public call for free visitation
Right to Act
Since the mid-1800s, a large amount of Chinese cultural relics have been exported, most through illegal channels. Since there is not a clear picture of their current locations and export routes, it will be hard to recover them and their cultural value cannot be fully assessed
A Brief Chronology of Chinese History
A Faraway Fortune
China has reclaimed part of its treasures lost overseas through legal and diplomatic means by government, purchases at overseas auctions by museums, and donations by overseas Chinese or foreign friends
- Probing Ancient Mysteries
- High and Mighty
- China's Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries in 2008
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