Casino Boss Stanley Hoy buys bronze horse head

Casino Boss Stanley Hoy buys bronze horse head

A priceless bronze horse head dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) will return to its home in Beijing for the first time since being stolen 147 years ago thanks to the effort of Stanly Ho, a renowned casino owner in Macau.

Ho, also a standing member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, donated HK$69.1 million (US$8.88 million) to buy back the sculpture through auction house Sotheby's in early August this year.

The entrepreneur has decided to donate the sculpture to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the administration said today, according to China News Services.

A ceremony will be held to mark the return of the treasure, it said.

The head is one of 12 bronze sculptures of animal heads on human bodies that formerly guarded a building in Yuanmingyuan Park, the old Imperial Summer Palace. The palace of Qing emperors was built in 1709 and was burned down by British and French troops in 1860.

Ho also spent six million yuan (US$798,722) in October 2003 to buy back a bronze pig head and donated the sculpture to the Poly Art Museum, with the help from China's Lost Cultural Relics Recovery Program.

In 2000, the cow head, tiger head and monkey head sculptures returned to Beijing and are all stored in the museum.

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