A catalogue of antiques taken by Japanese invaders during the period between the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and 1945 was for the first time unveiled at the Palace Museum in Beijing on Saturday.
About 15,245 antiques including oracle bones, traditional paintings, books, ceramic and ancient jade items are detailed in the catalogue, which includes the measurements of the artifacts.
The catalogue, which includes nine volumes, was published by the Zhongxi Book Company and was used to demand the return of rare antiques as well as war compensation, www.people.com.cn reported.
It was the first time the catalogue was published for the general public in 66 years.
The Chinese Department of Education in 1946 organized the writing of the catalogue but it wasn’t published until 1981 by the State Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Just 100 copies were delivered to libraries and universities.
“It reminded me of the great effort my fellow writers put into writing this catalogue,” Xie Chensheng, one of the writers of the catalogue and an advisor to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, told the People’s Daily, also saying that the period following the First Sino-Japanese war was a dark time for Chinese cultural relics, with many rare objects being taken.
More than 30 experts attended the seminar of the catalogue’s publication and said it was an alarm bell for those involved in the field of Chinese cultural heritage. Some suggested that catalogues should be made to detail the whereabouts of other highly valued pieces of cultural heritage.