Francois-Henri Pinault, Chief Executive Officer of France-based PPR Foundation and owner of two bronze animal head sculptures from China's Yuanmingyuan, or Old Summer Palace, said on Friday, April 26, that he will return the sculptures to China. [Photo: Agencies]
A French businessman and owner of two bronze animal head sculptures from China's Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace, said Friday that he will return the sculptures to China.
In his meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing, Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of French high-end retailer PPR, which changes its name to Kering in June, said the transfer of a rabbit head and a rat head will be completed within the second half of 2013.
Twelve bronze animal head figures, along with several other treasures, were looted from Yuanmingyuan when the site was ransacked by French and British troops in 1860.
The rat and rabbit heads were auctioned by Christie's in Paris in 2009. Pinault then bought the sculptures from the owner after the auction.
By the end of 2012, the heads of ox, tiger, monkey, pig and horse had been brought back to China and are being kept by The China Poly Group. The dragon head is reportedly in Taiwan, while the heads of snake, sheep, rooster, and dog still remain missing.
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