as usual (like their good friends the mohammedans) the chinese claim that whatever they do is perfectly correct. but if someone else does the same thing, no, that's bad.
not that i encourage the theft of cultural artifacts, but a lot of chinese 'artifacts' are probably mass-produced in canton and buried to give it the 'old' look :-)
thanks to viren for the pointer
Pot (Early Ming Dynasty) Calls U.S. Kettle Black
Who's ripping off whose culture? In 2004 China stole $3 billion worth of U.S. copyrighted material--including movies and music--says the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Yet now comes China, protesting the legal importation of Chinese antiquities by U.S. collectors and museums. It's even asking the U.S. to be the enforcer by embargoing Chinese art that's lacking proper export paperwork.
China is invoking a 1970 United Nations convention that protects nations small, weak or in conflict from having their cultural patrimony plundered by rich outsiders.
China small? China weak? It is to laugh. Nor is the U.S. a big buyer of Chinese oldies. The U.S. imported $65 million worth of Chinese art and antiquities last year, compared to $140 million by Japan and Taiwan and $326 million by Hong Kong.
Still, the possibility that U.S. Customs might have to kowtow for larger strategic purposes worries U.S. collectors. "The effect would be fairly catastrophic," says James Watt, head of Asian Art at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. He thinks Chinese art would never get the okay to come to the U.S. Complains James Lally, a Manhattan dealer: "It would put the U.S. in service to the PRC."