Partygoer stole museum statue's left thumb after selfie

China condemns US man for stealing terracotta warrior's thumb after posing for selfie

Chinese officials have demanded an American man be "severely punished" after he was accused of stealing the thumb of one of the famed terracotta army while it was on display in Philadelphia.

According to an arrest affidavit filed Friday, Michael Rohana, a 24-year-old man from state of DE, was attending a party held at the Franklin Institute on December 21 last year when he made his way into the museum's special exhibit "Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor". They were built by Chinese Emperor Quin Shi Huang, who died in 210 BCE and believed they'd serve as protection in the afterlife.

According to surveillance camera footage, after the two other party guests had left the room, Rohana took a selfie with his arm draped over the shoulder of one of the statues.

Rohana used his phone as a flashlight and also took a selfie with one of the warriors, Chinese state media Xinhua quoted the Federal Bureau of Investigation as saying.

The Terracotta Army is one of China's most important archaeological finds.

He broke the thumb off the $4.5 million statue during the party after taking a selfie with the artifact, court documents allege.

"The terracotta warriors are national treasures".

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The thumb was recovered at Rohana's home five days after it was taken and returned to the museum, authorities said. On Monday, a man identified in the Beijing Youth Daily as the director of Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relic Exchange Center told the newspaper he hoped the United States would "severely punish" the perpetrator, who he said had "undermined and robbed the human cultural heritage". The suspect admitted to authorities that he had hidden the thumb in his desk drawer.

Wu also "strongly condemned" Franklin and said it was "careless" to let the theft happen.

The department has sent a notice to the museum informing its decision to dispatch two experts to fix the Terracotta warrior statue, it said.

They were discovered in China's Xi'an city in 1974 by a group of Chinese farmers.

He was arrested and released on a 15,000-USD bail, on the condition that he hand over his passport, consent to drug testing, and refrain from leaving the country before trail.

The statue was part of an army of 8,000 life-size clay warriors which make up the Terracotta Army. The special exhibit will run through March 4th.

She blames the incident on a contractor who did not follow security protocols the night of the theft.

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