The Federal Office of Culture hands over several items of cultural property to China

Bern, 24.08.2023 - The Director of the Federal Office of Culture (FOC), Carine Bachmann, today handed over five items of Chinese cultural property to the Chinese ambassador to Switzerland, Shihting Wang, in Bern. The items were confiscated in cantonal criminal proceedings. The restitution is taking place within the framework of implementation of the Federal Act on the International Transfer of Cultural Property (CPTA).

The items are an equestrian statue with horse from the Han Dynasty, a large Cizhou wine vessel, a pair of horse statues from the Tang Dynasty, and a coin from the Yuan Dynasty.

The five items were legally confiscated in several criminal proceedings in the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Ticino and subsequently handed over to the federal government. The restitution is taking place as part of the CPTA, which implements the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.

Today's restitution underscores the shared commitment of Switzerland and China to implementing the UNESCO Convention and to tackling the illegal transfer of cultural property. In addition, since 2014, there has been a bilateral agreement with China on the import and restitution of cultural property, which further bolsters this commitment.

The CPTA regulates the import and export of cultural property and restitution from Switzerland. It also sets out measures against the illicit transfer of cultural property. Through this legislation the federal government seeks to help preserve the cultural heritage of humanity and prevent theft, looting and the illegal import and export of cultural property. 

Address for enquiries

Fabienne Baraga, Head of the Specialised Body for the International Transfer of Cultural Property
Federal Office of Culture FOC
+41 58 465 73 05,


Federal Office of Cultural Affairs

Last modification 15.12.2023

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