The British Museum under pressure from TikTok to return Chinese objects

A three-part miniseries, airing on the Chinese version of TikTok, fuels calls for the repatriation of artefacts held at the British Museum. baptized Escape from the British Museumthe series has already been viewed more than 310 million times since its release at the end of August.

The three episodes follow the story of a Jade teapot who metamorphoses into a young woman dressed in green. His wish ? Return home to China and reunite with her family with the help of a Chinese journalist she met in London.

The immediate success of the series sparked numerous reactions calling for the repatriation of a real jade teapot currently on display at the British Museum. Although this object is not an ancient object, the delicate technique used to make it by a Chinese artist renowned for his intricate jade carvings,resonated with Chinese audiences »reports the BBC.

Chinese public television channel CCTV praised the series, as well as the enthusiasm of young Chinese for their own history and culture. While mainstream media struggles to understand the phenomenal appeal of this series, discussions on social media indicate that it resonates with the collective desire for a back home » Chinese cultural “relics”.

Growing nationalism in China and complex relations with the West make cultural heritage a sensitive issue. In this context, China’s main state-run newspaper, The Global Timescalled on the British Museum to return free » items that China considers stolen.

According to UNESCO, 1.6 million Chinese objects looted in the past – mainly during the siege of Beijing by the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900 – are housed in 47 museums around the world, including the British Museum which has the greatest number. He reportedly holds around 23,000, of which 2,000 are permanently on display in the museum.

“The huge flaws in the management and security of cultural objects at the British Museum, revealed by this scandal [le vol de 2 000 objets], question the claim that foreign cultural objects would be better protected there”says an editorial in the Global Timespublished the day before the British Foreign Secretary’s visit to China on August 29.

The Global Times also gave his support to the miniseries, highlighting its “powerful message” concerning the importance of cultural heritage and reflecting“the aspiration of the Chinese people for the repatriation of Chinese cultural relics”.

Similar Posts