A man in Hong Kong split an original manuscript of the founder of the People’s Republic of China in two, Mao Zedong, valued at $ 2.3 billion Hong Kongers (297 million dollars, 252 million euros) thinking they had sold a fake, local press reported today.
According to the newspaper South China Morning Post, the manuscript was part of a group of objects stolen on September 10 from the apartment of a well-known collector valued at 5,000 million Hong Kong dollars (645 million dollars, 549 million euros), considered by the Police as the largest robbery in the history of the former British colony.
The scroll contained a poem handwritten by Mao (1893-1976), who was the most valuable item Among all those stolen, among which was also a Chinese postage stamp issued in 1968 with the slogan “The whole country is red”, one of the most expensive in the world after being auctioned for 13.8 million yuan (2 million dollars, 1.7 million euros) in 2018.
Its owner is the collector Fu Chunxiao, a member of the Hong Kong Philatelic Society and organizer of exhibitions of articles on the Chinese communist revolution, who was traveling in China at the time of the robbery and whose daughter was the one who denounced the incident.
Cut it into two pieces
Mao’s scroll was bought by a man for just HK $ 500 ($ 64.5, 54.9 euros) and, thinking it was a cheap forgery, cut it into two pieces to store it, it was already two meters high.
It was the buyer himself who handed over the two halves of the parchment to the police after the authorities made a public appeal just twelve days after the theft.
Mao, the country’s leader for 27 years and responsible for initiatives that caused the deaths of millions of people such as the Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward, is also studied for his poetic side and for his calligraphic skills, and his handwriting is used on numerous occasions in the media and official buildings.