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Man Rips £230 Million Mao Scroll In Half After Buying It From Thieves For £50 Thinking It's Fake

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Man Rips £230 Million Mao Scroll In Half After Buying It From Thieves For £50 Thinking It's Fake

Thieves that stole a £230million Chinese scroll have flogged it for £50 to a buyer who tore it in half, believing it to be a fake. Gutted.

The scroll was three-metres in length and had been written by Chairman Mao Zedong who was the founder of the Communist state back in 1929.

A picture of the late Mao Zedong hung in Beijing's Tiananmen square prior to the 2008 Olympic Games. Credit: PA
A picture of the late Mao Zedong hung in Beijing's Tiananmen square prior to the 2008 Olympic Games. Credit: PA

Thieves got the hands on the expensive item last month after carrying out a burglary at an art collector's home. They went on to sell it for a fraction of its actual value.

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According to Hong Kong police, the oblivious buying cut the scroll up because it was deemed too long to display. Now the original owner has said the value of the piece has been 'definitely affected'.

The burglary took place on 10 September when three men broke into the home of Fu Chunxiao - a well known collector of art and stamps - who estimates it to be worth around £300m (£230m).

As well as stealing the scroll, the thieves also made off with antique stamps, copper coins and other pieces of calligraphy by Mao. All of which are expected to be worth HK$5bn ($645m; £500m).

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The scroll was then sold on to another art collector (who can't have been that good because he thought it was a fake) for £50.

According to The Times, the buyer has since come forward following reports about the calligraphic scroll saying he believed it was a counterfeit and cut it so he could store it easier. He surrendered himself to police on 22 September.

Mao Zedong's former residence is now a museum with exhibits on show from his work. Credit: PA
Mao Zedong's former residence is now a museum with exhibits on show from his work. Credit: PA

Senior superintendent Tony Ho of the Hong Kong police said: "Someone thought the calligraphy was too long... and difficult to show and display. That's why it was cut in half."

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"It was heartbreaking to see it be torn into two pieces. It will definitely affect its value but the impact remains to be seen."

Back in March, a Vincent Van Gogh painting was stolen from a Dutch museum that was closed to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

General director of the museum Evert van Os told the Associated Press he is 'angry, shocked and sad' about the theft of the painting.

According to the Daily Mail, burglars forced their way through the glass doors of the museum, which has been closed since 12 March amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, News, Art

Rebecca Shepherd
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