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2000-year-old terra-cotta statue thumb stolen

2000-year-old terra-cotta statue thumb stolen

Michael Rohana, from Bear, Delaware, is accused of snapping off the digit from the £3.2m statue - part of the Terracotta Army - that is on loan from China to the Franklin Institute in Philadephia.

Returning, Rohana used his cellphone as a flashlight as he stepped up onto a platform where a calvaryman stood, put his arm around the statue, then took a selfie with it.

Then, according to an affidavit by Jacob Archer, an Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent, the man put his arm around the statue and took a selfie.

Although the man is now booked into county jail, the Chinese authorities are demanding compensation for the damage and asked that the perpetrator be severely punished for his deed.

News of Rohana's alleged assault on the 210 B.C. -era statue has angered China, which reveres the thousands of terra-cotta warrior statues as treasured cultural artifacts.

Wu said he "strongly condemned" the Philadelphia museum and added two experts should be sent there to evaluate the damage done and reattach the thumb.

Museum staff noted the missing thumb on January 8 and a special agent from the FBI's Art Crime Team tracked down Rohana days later and showed up at home in Bear, Delaware to question him about the finger, authorities said.

He was arrested for theft of a major artwork from a museum, concealment of a major stolen artwork, and the interstate transportation of stolen property, but released on a US$15,000 bail, according to court documents seen by AFP.

Mr Wu said the centre would be sending two experts to the United States to assess the damage and fix the statue with the recovered thumb.

The Terracotta Army is one of China's most important archaeological findings.

He added that the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre would be sending two experts to Philidelphia to fix the figure and that it would be seeking compensation.

She blames the incident on a contractor who did not follow security protocols the night of the theft. The Philadelphia exhibition runs until March 4. The terracotta army guards the burial site of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor.

HONG KONG-The warrior was a symbol of martial strength, moulded from terracotta and buried more than 2,000 years ago with China's first emperor to defend him in the afterlife.

Another group of 10 terracotta warriors are on display at the World Museum in the British city of Liverpool, where they will remain until October.

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