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Federal Bureau of Investigation says USA man stole thumb of Chinese terracotta warrior statue

China condemns US man for stealing terracotta warrior's thumb after posing for selfie

Reports said that Michael Rohana, 24, of DE, was charged with theft of a major artwork from a museum, concealment of major artwork stolen from a museum and interstate transportation of stolen property, reported USA and Chinese media.

Museum staff noticed the missing thumb January 8 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation later traced it to Rohana, who admitted he kept the thumb in a desk drawer.

An US partygoer has been taken in custody after authorities discovered that he stole the finger of a terracotta warrior.

When Archer interviewed Rohana at his family's home on Jan 13, Rohana led the agent to his bedroom where the stolen thumb was in a desk drawer, according to the affidavit.

A spokeswoman for the museum said that the statue will be repaired, adding that a security contractor did not follow standard procedures the night of the alleged theft.

Wu Haiyun, director of the government-run Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center, which loaned the 2,000-year-old terracotta statue to the Franklin Institute, called on the U.S. to crack down on accused thief Michael Rohana. He has been released on a US$15,000 bail and has handed over his passport.

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"We ask that the U.S. severely punish the perpetrator", Wu said Monday, according to BBC News, which cited CCTV.

An official urged the USA authorities to "seriously investigate" the incident, to "punish severely the culprit" and launch "compensation procedures".

After surviving more than 2,000 years in an underground crypt in central China, a life-seized terra-cotta warrior statue managed less than three months at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia before succumbing to bodily harm. "Their historical and artistic value are impossible to value. we express strong resentment and condemnation towards this theft and the destruction of our heritage". The museum has reviewed procedures and told security guards that "any lapses are intolerable", the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center official told the Beijing Youth Daily.

News of the theft has prompted outrage in China, which had loaned 10 statues from among the 8,000 life-size clay warriors that make up the Terracotta Army to the Philadelphia museum. He united much of the country under the short-lived Qin dynasty, which is generally considered the origin of the name "China".

The statues are among 8,000 soldiers, chariots and horses which were first unearthed in 1974 in Xian, China's northwestern Shaanxi province.

The Xi'an museum and the statues were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

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