Australia returns ancient statue to China
Updated: 2015-03-09 15:56
China’s Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu (R) and Australia's Minister for the Arts Senator George Brandis at a ceremony held to return Qing Dynasty’s Guanyin statue to China, in Canberra, March 5, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
Australian authorities returned to China a statue of Guanyin, a Buddhism goddess, from the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) in a return ceremony held at the Chinese Embassy in Canberra on Mar 5, 2015.
At the event, the statue was handed over by Australia's Minister for the Arts Senator George Brandis to Chinese Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu, in accordance with a bilateral commitment to return and protect cultural property.
According to Xinhua, the property was illegally exported from China on an order from US eBay against Chinese cultural laws. It was seized by the Australian Customs and Border Protection when it arrived in the country.
Avalokitesvara, also known as Guanyin, is an East Asian deity of mercy and compassion, revered by Buddhists. In Sanskrit it means “lord who gazes down (at the world)”. The icon was introduced to China in Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) by Xuan Zang, a Chinese Buddhist monk and scholar who gave the translation “Guanyin”, meaning “the god who perceives the world’s lamentations”.