(China Plus) Researchers of China's Longmen Grottoes are watching closely the investigations into a stone Buddha head removed from an auction in New York, which may be from the UNESCO world heritage site, reports Henan Daily.|
The Buddha head listed on Sotheby's auction on September 12 has triggered disputes recently. According to Sotheby's catalogue, the Buddha head, 70 centimeters high, is believed to date back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), with an estimated price of 2 to 3 million US dollars. It was tabbed from a private collection.
A comparison between the Buddha head shown in the photo taken by Japanese scholars at the Longmen Grottoes in 1920s and the Buddha head listed in Sotheby's catalogue shows a lot of similarities. [Photo provided by netizens]
However, it was later found that the item highly resembles the head of a Buddha statue at the Longmen Grottoes, as shown in a photo taken by Japanese scholars in the 1920s at the grottoes. It is estimated that the head of the Buddha statue in the photo was stolen between 1920 and 1949.
The item was then removed from Sotheby's catalogue before the auction.
According to a South China Morning Post report, Sotheby's is reviewing the case.