The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Auction house urged to drop sale of China imperial seal


PARIS (AFP) - An association for the protection of Chinese art on Sunday warned it would pursue legal action if a French auction house goes ahead with the sale of an imperial seal it says was looted.

The Association for the Protection of Chinese Art in Europe (APACE) urged auction house Artcurial to withdraw the jade green seal, dating from the Qianlong period (1736-95), from its auction on Monday.

It said the seal, expected to fetch up to 200,000 euros (S$322,000), was stolen during the sacking of the Summer Palace in Beijing by Anglo-French forces in 1860.

The group said it had already mandated a lawyer to "take all legal action", including filing a criminal complaint for theft and receiving stolen goods, if the sale goes ahead.