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Stolen $300m Mao scroll found 'cut in half': Hong Kong police

Stolen $300m Mao scroll found 'cut in half': Hong Kong police”

A stolen Chinese calligraphy scroll written by Chairman Mao Zedong and estimated to be worth millions of dollars has been found in Hong Kong, police said today, after it was stolen from an art collector's home in September.

The scroll by the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong was stolen by thieves from an art collector's home during a massive burglary.

They then sold it at a fraction of its value.

Senior superintendent of the Hong Kong police, Tony Ho, said: "Someone thought the calligraphy was too long. and hard to show and display". Now the original owner has said the value of the piece has been "definitely affected".

Police said the damaged scroll, which featured stanzas of poetry handwritten by Mao, the founder of the People's Republic of China, was the most expensive item in the haul.

The scroll had been stolen from the home of well-known collector Fu Chunxiao last month. Fu, who is well known for his collection of stamps and revolutionary art, was in mainland China at the time of the burglary and has not been in Hong Kong since January because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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. He surrendered himself to police on 22 September.

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It is unclear who exactly had cut the artwork.

"Someone thought the calligraphy was too long - 2.8 meters in length - and it was hard to show and display it".

The individual was later released after explaining to authorities that he suspected the scroll to be counterfeit and cut it in half for storage purposes.

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

But the other two burglars still remain at large.

A Tuesday police raid on a flat in the Kowloon Peninsula area of Yau Ma Tei resulted in the arrest of one 44-year-old burglary suspect and a 47-year-old acquaintance who allegedly provided a hideout for the accused criminal.

Previous year a calligraphic autograph letter handwritten by Mr Mao was auctioned by Sotheby's for £519,000.



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