Chinese anger after terracotta warrior's thumb stolen in US

The Terracotta Army were discovered in China in 1974 More

The Terracotta Army were discovered in China in 1974 More

It is one of 10 Chinese terra-cotta warriors on loan to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

The vandalized statue is worth quite a thumb, er, sum: $4.5 million.

In the wake of the incident, Wu Haiyun - the director of the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre - has strongly condemned the institute over the incident and demanded retribution.

The Franklin Institute said in a statement that a security contractor failed to follow "standard closing procedures" on the night Rohana took the finger, behavior the museum called "deplorable".

"We ask that the USA severely punish the perpetrator", Wu Haiyun, a Chinese cultural official, told state-run TV, according to the BBC.

The head of the group that loaned the statues to the Franklin Institute, Wu Haiyun, told Chinese television a "serious protest" has been lodged with the US over the incident, The Guardian reported. The incident is said to have occurred in December while he attended the museum's ugly Christmas sweater party.

"The terracotta warriors are national treasures".

Franklin Institute staff didn't discover that the thumb was missing until January 8, according to the affidavit.

The suspect, identified as Michael Rohana, has been freed from prison on bail after being charged a week ago with theft and concealment of a major artwork. "We express strong resentment and condemnation towards this theft and the destruction of our heritage".

The terra-cotta cavalryman statue Rohana targeted was valued at $4.5 million, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Mr Rohana is then alleged to have snapped off the 2,000-year-old statue's thumb and slipped it in his pocket.

The outrage has apparently originated from the deep appreciation China has for the Terracotta Army, since it's considered as one of its most significant archaeological discoveries.

The Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relic Exchange Center plans to send two experts to the United States to fix the thumb, according to China's state news agency Xinhua.

China's official news agency Xinhua reported Rohana admitted to authorities he had the thumb piece in a desk drawer.

The statues were built by the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang, who died in 210BCE, in the belief they would protect him in the afterlife.

The warrior was one of 10 statutes which were loaned to the Philadelphia museum last September for the Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition.

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