Nüshi zhen tu 女史箴图 (Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies) / The Admonitions Scroll "."
over 2 years ago
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Museum artifacts repatriation, yay or nay?
I guess it depends on the circumstances. Such as how legit/sketchy is the provenance? Or how stable of a situation would it be getting returned to?
this. I'm generally for, especially when it is easy to identify that things were acquired through theft and shenanigans, or there's no remotely decent provenance.
After the suppression of the Boxers, there was a considerable amount of looting throughout the capital, and during this time of chaos Captain Clarence A. K. Johnson (1870–1937) of the 1st Bengal Lancers, who was stationed at the Summer Palace, somehow managed to acquire the Admonitions Scroll. His family later claimed that he was given the scroll as a reward for escorting a "lady of high birth" and her family to safety, but this story has never been corroborated. Johnson did not realise the value of the scroll, but when he returned to London in 1902 he took it to the British Museum to have the jade toggle on it valued. The keeper of the department of Prints and Drawings, Sidney Colvin (1845–1927), and his assistant, Laurence Binyon (1869–1943), recognised the significance of the painting, and in 1903 the British Museum purchased it from Johnson for the sum of £25.
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