The Zodiac Fountain and the Hunt for Stolen Chinese Art

Event Type Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture, Educational Lectures, Special Events, Free Programs, Lectures
Date calendar  Thursday, February 15, 2024
Time clock  6:15pm - 7:15pm (1h)
Location Watch Live on our YouTube

The Zodiac Fountain and the Hunt for Stolen Chinese Art

Feb 15 | 6p | Online

Dr. Noah Charney, Guest Lecturer


In 2009, the Grand Palais in Paris held the “auction of a lifetime”— the sale of the collection of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. While over 200 million dollars worth of art was sold, a Chinese collector made news headlines when he won a pair of large bronze statues—the head of a rat and a rabbit—but publicly refused to pay, stating that China should not have to buy back its stolen cultural heritage. The heads were part of statues belonging to the Zodiac Clock Fountain at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, looted by the French and British in 1860 before the palace was destroyed as part of the Second Opium War.

Dr. Noah Charney will discuss the value of art, both financial and cultural, using this case study as an example. Dr. Charney hosted an acclaimed BBC series on just this subject, and will give a live online talk exclusively for the Sheppy Dog Fund Lecture that examines the heists that may be linked to the repatriation, through theft, of stolen treasures.

Dr. Noah Charney is an internationally best-selling author of more than a dozen books, translated in fourteen languages. He is a professor of art history specializing in art crime, and has taught for Yale University, Brown University, American University of Rome, and University of Ljubljana. Charney is founder of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art. He writes regularly for major magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Observer, and The Art Newspaper. In 2022, he presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary, China’s Stolen Treasures, which is the basis for this lecture. He lives in Slovenia with his wife, children and their hairless dog, Hubert van Eyck.

Event Link Watch Live on 2.15.24 at 6pm