Stolen Buddha head finally returns home
Updated: 2016-02-27 04:46
By Wang Kaihao(China Daily)
The body of a Buddha statue, together with the recovered head, is displayed in Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Monday. ZHANG GUOJUN / XINHUA
After two decades overseas, a stolen 1,500-year-old Buddha head returned home on Friday.
The 47-cm Buddha head belonged to a statue in a pagoda at Youju Temple in Hebei province. It was carved in white marble following an edict of Gao Rui, a royal family member from the Northern Qi Dynasty (AD 550-577).
However, the head was stolen in 1996, and the rest of the statue was later moved to Hebei Museum in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.
A Taiwan businessman, who wished to remain anonymous, brought the head back from overseas and in 2014 donated it to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple in Kaohsiung, which was founded by Abbot Hsing Yun.
"It's fortunate, but it's also regretful," said the 89-year-old abbot. "Chinese cultural heritage has been the victim of many thefts in the last century, and Buddhism is not able to avoid it either. Nevertheless, it's fortunate that the lost head came to Fo Guang Shan."
The abbot and a group of pilgrims escorted the Buddha head across the Taiwan Straits. The body of the statue, together with the head, had been exhibited in Fo Guang Shan since May, 2015.
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