Tomb raiding is becoming an epidemic
Chinese archaeologists are facing an epidemic of professional tomb raiding.
The situation has been highlighted by the recent arrests of 12 grave robbers in Southwest China’s Sichuan province. They are suspected of stealing artifacts from a tomb dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) in Ziyang city, in a case worth about a million yuan ($ 161,000), local police said.
The stolen pieces include two carved doors of the tomb chamber, as well as some valuable items buried in it, the local Huaxi Metropolis Daily reported.
One of the suspects, antique collector Liu, said he kept some of the most valuable items in his shop, while the rest were sold to other dealers.
In addition to greed for money, the national fervor for antique collecting has also contributed to the phenomenon, according to Liang Xiao, a relics protection expert.
More than half a million specially bred male mosquitoes are being released on an island in southern China every week to fight dengue fever, which causes fever and joint pain. The mosquitoes produced at a science park “factory” in Guangdong province can make their female mating partners infertile.