China Demands U.S. Punish American Man Who Stole Terracotta Warrior’s Thumb

Chinese authorities are demanding exemplary punishment for an American man who allegedly stole a terracotta warrior’s thumb while it was on show at a Philadelphia museum.

According to reports in US and Chinese media, Michael Rohana, 24, was attending a pre-Christmas party at the Franklin Institute when he went through an unlocked door into the Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition.

Using his smartphone as a torch, Rohana allegedly entered the exhibition at about 9.15pm on 21 December, embraced one of the ancient sculptures, and took a selfie before appearing to snap off a chunk of its left hand and pocket it.

Museum staff did not notice the absent digit until 8 January. Five days later, having tracked down the suspect through surveillance footage and credit card transactions, investigators went to Rohana’s home. “Rohana admitted … he had stashed the thumb in his desk drawer,” China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Tom Phillips