By Azania Post Reporter
CAMPAIGNERS in China have launched pressure pushing authorities to impose severe punishment for a man who stole thumb of a terracotta warrior sculpture in the United States.
The 2,000-year-old statue belongs to China, worth $4.5m (£3.2m), is one of 10 on loan to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
BBC reported that last week, Michael Rohana was charged with theft and concealment of a major artwork, and later released on bail.
The Terracotta Army is one of China's most important archaeological finds.
According to court charge sheet, Rohana, 24, was attending an Ugly Sweater Party at the Franklin Institute last December when he made his way into the Terracotta Warriors exhibit, which was then closed.
The document explained that Rohana used a mobile phone as a flashlight and took a selfie with one of the warriors, according to Chinese state media Xinhua quoting the FBI.
He then put his hand on the left hand of the statue and appeared to break something off from it. He pocketed the item and left.
Museum staff noticed the missing thumb on 8 January and the FBI later traced it to Rohana. He later admitted that he had kept the thumb in a desk drawer.
On Monday, the director of the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre, the government-run organization which loaned the statues out, strongly denounced the Franklin Institute for being "careless" with the statues, CCTV reported.
"We ask that the US severely punish the perpetrator. We have lodged a serious protest with them," said Wu Haiyun.
Wu said the centre would be sending two experts to the US to evaluate the damage and repair the statue with the recovered thumb.