China museum closes over fake exhibits; cartoon pictures passed off as Qing dynasty

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Chinese authorities shut down a museum on Tuesday after discovering that curators attempted to pass off fake artifacts as genuine pieces of history — including one vase decorated with cartoon characters that was billed as a precious finding of the Qing dynasty.

The museum is located in the northern region of China, in Hebei province. Though it cost $88 million to construct, the facility has “no qualification to be a museum as its collections are fake,” one Chinese authority said in the Global Times. The founders are now under investigation, Agence France-Presse reported. Residents in the community say the owner, a top Communist Party official, had a reputation of buying “everything brought to him,” without proper vetting.

Chinese media showed some of the fake artifacts. One was a vase decorated with bright green cartoon figures, including a creature that looked to be a laughing squid. Museum officials billed that artifact to be a relic of the Qing dynasty, AFP reported.

Other artifacts were said to be signed by the Yellow Emperor, from the 27th century B.C., the Shanghai Daily reported.

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