Two people arrested for vandalizing artifacts at new museum

Two people arrested for vandalizing artifacts at new museum

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Two people were arrested Wednesday on charges related to spray painting two Chinese zodiac heads that were part of a set of 12 donated by Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan to the southern branch of the National Palace Museum (NMP) in Chiayi County.

The museum said it will sue the suspects, who allegedly painted the words "cultural united front" on the horse and dragon heads of the Chinese zodiac set. Spraying on the horse head may imply her dissatisfaction with President Ma Ying-jeou, whose family name Ma means horse in Chinese.

Dragon (long) is the Chinese name of Chan. Both Ma and Chan were present at the museum's soft opening Monday.

The female suspect, surnamed Chen, said on her Facebook page that she is a Taiwanese who will never accept "cultural invasion or colonization" and she has no wish to be "culturally Chinese."

In response, the NPM said that a national museum cannot function as such if its displays of Chinese cultural art objects are seen as part of a "united front" strategy.

A united front is a Chinese Communist Party tactic to unite with a secondary enemy to fight against the main enemy.

The NMP said the donation of the 12 Chinese zodiac heads by Jackie Chan symbolized a universal value of honoring culture and preserving the world's cultural legacies.

A strict process was observed in considering Chan's proposal to donate the cultural artifacts, and their public display was carefully and professionally designed, the NMP said.

It said it will press civil and criminal charges against the two suspects, who have been arrested by police pending further investigation. (By Huang Kuo-fang, Cheng Ching-wen and S.C. Chang)

Updated : 2021-02-26 13:21 GMT+08:00