The villagers claim that the intact mummy of the monk

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The villagers claim that the intact mummy of the monk

Postby jinpanlin520 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:02 am

by Liu Fang [url=]Leroy Sane Germany Jersey[/url] , Zindziwe Janse

THE HAGUE, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese villagers who want to get back their stolen Buddha statue with in it a mummified body of an 11th-century monk will face the Dutch collector in the court of Amsterdam on Friday afternoon.

After going through documents filed by both parties, Xinhua presents here the key issues on admissibility, procedures and merits that might be discussed at the first public hearing of this case.


Villagers from two villages in China's southeastern province of Fujian had their village committees to file the claim that the mummified body, or "Master Zhang Gong" as called and worshipped during the past centuries, should be returned and placed back in their village temple.

In his answer to the claims [url=]Kevin Volland Germany Jersey[/url] , Oscar van Overeem, an Amsterdam-based architect and experienced art collector, argued that a "village committee is not to be referred to as a natural person or legal person" under the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure and "the claimants should be declared inadmissible in their claims."

The villagers then filed additional documents to explain that under the Chinese law, a village committee, as a special legal person, is entitled to attend litigation as a party based on legal provisions or authorizations from villagers. In practice [url=]Karim Bellarabi Germany Jersey[/url] , there are a great number of cases in which villagers' committees are claimants or defendants in lawsuits.

"The judge in the Netherlands has the responsibility to first check whether the parties have legal representation power. It is possible that they do not fully understand the legal personalities of village committees under the Chinese Law. I will give more information about this at the hearing," Dutch lawyer Jan Holthuis, who represents the Chinese villagers in Dutch court proceedings, told Xinhua.


The defendant said that with a "swap agreement" reached on Nov. 29, 2015, Van Overeem has exchanged the statue against several Buddhist art objects from the private collection of a third party and committed to the third party to not disclose his identity.

A letter signed by his insurer was submitted as proof. "The Song dynasty mummy is insured by us since the commencing date of the first policy and at the most recent time for a sum of 950 [url=]Julian Weigl Germany Jersey[/url] ,000 euro. However, this object is at the moment no longer insured by us, this in connection with an exchange-swap of the object as reported by you [Van Overeem] to us," it stated.

The villagers ask the court to demand the Dutch collector disclose the "exchange agreement" and the identity of the "third party". For them, the exchange agreement is contrary to common decency and public order and therefore is void.

They also filed emails sent by the Dutch collector, reading "I can 'just' act [url=]Julian Draxler Germany Jersey[/url] , discuss and make decisions on behalf of him [the third party]."

"It is a 'presumption of fraud', or an 'action pauliana'. By making the statue away, the defendant causes in our view a presumption of a fraudulent act, namely preventing the enforcement of a claim of the villagers to return Zhang Gong, if the court would so decide," commented Holthuis.

"The defendant also said this third party is fully aware of the situation [url=]Joshua Kimmich Germany Jersey[/url] , which means, this third party can never be in good faith," he added.


The villagers claim that the intact mummy of the monk Liu Quan is a "corpse" of an identifiable person as defined in the Dutch Burials and Cremations Act. A corpse cannot be subject to ownership according to this Act.

"Master Zhang Gong was famous during his life as a spiritual leader, because of his help to those who needed it and because of his healing powers. Upon his death his body was protected against rotting through herbs and other means. Thereafter the body is protected with a layer of lacquer and covered with a gold layer," said Liu Yushen, a Beijing registered lawyer who provides legal supports to the villagers.

"The likely wish of monk Zhang Gong Liu Quan is that through mummification [url=]Jonas Hector Germany Jersey[/url] , he would after his death continue to have a spiritual and healing power on his environment, and he would certainly not have agreed that his body would become the subject of (illegal) art trade," Liu told Xinhua.

"For the villagers who live in a region of the root of Buddhism in China, mummification has a special meaning. It implies that the body of the enlightened Buddhist monk remains part of the human world and can still be defiled after his death through external influences. From generation to generation the statue is worshipped and the day of the death of the monk is up to the present day memorized by ceremonies of piety," he added.

The Dutch collector argues that what was discovered in his statue was not a "corpse" but "human remains" because "most of the organs are absent". He filed several articles reporting on the selling, buying [url=]Jerome Boateng Germany Jersey[/url] , and auctioning of mummies in the United States, Canada, Britain, etc., to support his opinion that a statue with a mummy inside is a "thing" and therefore object to ownership.

"There is case law that even a body without a head or without arms and legs is a corpse. In this case we have a complete body, and it is not an anonymous body [url=]Ilkay Gundogan Germany Jersey[/url] , but a body that we have identified with a name. So I am confident in defending the villagers's claim," said Holthuis.


The Dutch collector states that the Buddha statue that he bought is not the stolen statue from Yangchun village in China.

One of his main arguments is that a collector named Benny Rustenburg has acquired the statue at the end of 1994the beginning of 1995 in Hong Kong -- well before the date of theft claimed by the villagers (Dec. 14, 1995), after which Rustenburg had the statue transported from Hong Kong to Amsterdam in mid-1995.

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