RED CHINA: Selling the Heirlooms

Although Red China law strictly forbids the export of antiques, the Communist government itself conducts a thriving, surreptitious trade in ancient objets d'art. It does so through an organization called the Peking Arts and Crafts Co., which commands high prices for bronzes and porcelain slipped out to selected dealers in Hong Kong and Europe. Included last week in the latest selection of mainland art wares showing up in Hong Kong shops was a sizable portion of loot from Tibet. For $50 and up, customers could choose from dozens of gilded bronze temple statues of Buddha, silver Tibetan chalices and...

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