Proof of their origin as part of the Chinese imperial collection - such as inscriptions by made by the soldiers who looted them - hugely increases their potential value. (CNN)As the world watched in horror at pictures of the Notre Dame burning, some in China saw another story in the flames: that of retribution. Labelling these items is a sensitive matter. The destruction, he wrote later, was intended "to mark, by a solemn act of retribution, the horror and indignation... with which we were inspired by the perpetration of a great crime". .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. A new digital reconstruction by a team at Tsinghua University gives a vivid idea of what this extraordinary place looked like when, 155 years ago, a joint British-French army approached Beijing. In October 1860, writes E.W.R. The Emperor was not in the Palace at this time. The replica has been met with controversy online and condemnation from managers of the ruins of the original. Subscribe to the BBC News Magazine's email newsletter to get articles sent to your inbox. The sack of the Summer Palace “To Captain Butler Hauteville House, 25 November, 1861. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}There is a deep, unhealed historical wound in the UK's relations with China - a wound that most British people know nothing about, but which causes China great pain. To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive. It's been described as China's ground zero - a place that tells a story of cultural destruction that everyone in China knows about, but hardly anyone outside. This led to the Second Opium War, where Britain and France fought with the Imperial Chinese army and navy. China is also focusing increasingly on all the art that was looted by French and British forces - and taken to Europe. It is possible to take if the great power has occupied Beijing. The more one sees of it, the more one detests it.". How did it come about that a man of his temperament and opinions should have been responsible for an act so often quoted as an example of vandalism, of Victorian arrogance and insensitivity at their worst? We try to keep the interpretation as neutral as possible," says Scott. The British army's new Armstrong gun, he noted, inflicted "perfectly awful wounds" on the Chinese. The British troops occupying Peking, China destroyed the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer Palace built by the Manchu emperors in the 1700s. The Anglo-French force was outraged and the British commander Elgin ordered that the Old Summer Palace be burned. However, the Chinese hated the treaty and as western influence increased in their country they broke the treaty. The Anglo-French expeditionary force also appeared, to have burned the Palace to deter the Chinese from further resistance. The Royal collection has several other items thought to be connected with the Beijing Summer Palace, including Chinese imperial sceptres, brass plaques and a mahogany screen. The army tradition was to share out the spoils, with officers and other ranks taking their cut, and some of the cash used to compensate the families of dead or wounded soldiers. Once they had arrived in China Bowlby wrote in his newspaper reports and private diary of his admiration for aspects of Chinese life - its fine buildings and "admirably cultivated gardens". When Lord Elgin arrived, he initially recorded his horror in his diary. "There are things that perhaps you might have done differently," he says of his ancestor. The men had been seized despite them meeting  the Chinese negotiators led by a member of the Chinese Royal Family, under a flag of truce. "What would the Times (newspaper) say of me," he reportedly told a French commander, "if I did not avenge its correspondent?". It was particularly favored by the Xianfeng Emperor, who spent much of his time there in the lead up to the Second Opium War, when a British and French force. Peking’s Summer Palace destroyed British troops occupying Peking, China, loot and then burn the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer residence built by … It stems from the destruction in 1860 of the country's most beautiful palace. It shows up in the decision tab if a great power is at war with China, has researched Nationalism and Imperialism and China owns Beijing (province no 1612). Of 26 men seized by the Qing, 15 had died during captivity, including a reporter for the London Times. The Opium Wars were an effort by the British and other western powers to end China’s isolation from the world and especially they sought to open up their ports to western ships for trade, especially for opium. The site swarms with Chinese visitors, taken there as part of a government-sponsored "patriotic education" programme. The only thing Torching the Summer Palace does is give China 5 war exhaustion and -25 prestige. "It's a very good arguing point" he concedes. For many young Chinese, another link between the burning of the Summer Palace and the fire at Notre Dame exists through the words of Victor Hugo, whose comments on the destruction of imperial garden feature in numerous Chinese textbooks. You ask my opinion, Sir, about the China expedition. Eager to witness the war's end, he set off with a delegation of British and French officials - as well as escorting Indian army troops - to negotiate what they assumed would be the Chinese surrender. This applies to both people and country! Only the great Babe Ruth had ever hit three homers more. The real Chinese loot investigators appear no less determined, even if they don't resort to violence. Instead of a cemetery, all I found was a golf driving range. He showed me, from family archives, a picture sketched by a British officer of the return of Bowlby's mangled body in a coffin to British headquarters. He also reported a very one-sided military campaign as the Anglo-French force relentlessly approached Beijing. With Xiaoqing Liu, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Ye Chen, Kun Xiang. Furious, the UK's Lord Elgin ordered his forces to advance on Beijing. Yuanming Garden), the film stars Tony Leung Ka-fai as the Xianfeng Emperor and Liu Xiaoqing as a young nobel consort Cixi. By coincidence, one of the story's central characters is Lord Elgin - son of the man who removed the so-called "Elgin marbles" from Greece. These days the site is just ruins - piles of scorched masonry, lakes with overgrown plants, lawns with a few stones scattered where many buildings once stood. Some members, including the journalist Bowlby, were tortured and murdered. Soon after the war ended and China was forced to sign a new treaty that granted western nations some Chinese ports and more trading concessions. Xianfeng first fled to the Chengde Summer Palace and then to Rehe Province. And so he instructed the British army to burn the Summer Palace to the ground. Burn the Summer Palace is a decision available to any great power, who are at war with China.. British troops occupying Peking, China, loot and then burn the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer residence built by the Manchu emperors in the 18th century. As everyone in China is taught, it was once the most beautiful collection of architecture and art in the country. "In body and soul they were absorbed in one pursuit which was plunder, plunder." But there's a twist - a hidden side to this story - which I've been exploring as it involved my ancestor, Thomas Bowlby, one of the first British foreign correspondents. VideoWhy Noah Centineo is voting for the first time, Covid-19 Evictions: ‘Where will we go?’ VideoCovid-19 Evictions: ‘Where will we go?’. Outgunned by the foreigners, the Qing released the negotiators, who told of how they had been subjected to torture, abuse and constant threats of execution. In 1860, during the Second Opium War, British and French expeditionary forces, having marched inland from the coast at Tianjin (Tientsin), arrived in Beijing (Peking). The British troops occupying Peking, China destroyed  the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer Palace built by the Manchu emperors in the 1700s. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! He developed serious hearing problems more, Only one year after Spain granted Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island’s one million inhabitants. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. British troops joined in when they arrived shortly afterwards. ", French and British troops burned the Summer Palace to the ground during the. The Wallace Collection in London has magnificent imperial vases from the palace. He objected at first, but then came to see it as a kind of "tit for tat". With him was Thomas William Bowlby of The Times. Yet Elgin’s two missions to China are chiefly remembered for the event in which they culminated—the burning of the Summer Palace at Peking in October 1860.

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