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Bronze animal heads from Summer Palace display in Shanghai

Updated: Nov 18,2015 11:06 AM

Four precious bronze animal heads from Yuanmingyuan - or the Summer Palace in Beijing - are now being displayed at the Poly Art Museum in Shanghai. And they’re bringing in a lot of visitors.

On display are the bronze heads of an Ox, Monkey, Tiger, and Pig. They were originally part of a series of bronze sculptures of men with animal heads that represent the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. The four pieces exemplify the exquisite craftsmanship of Imperial China, but they were lost for over a century after being looted by the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1860.

In 2000, Shanghai’s Poly Art Museum bought the Ox, Monkey, and Tiger heads at great cost at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions. In 2003, Macao billionaire Stanley Ho bought the Pig head and donated it to the museum. This exhibition runs through Nov 29.