Returned Buddha Head displayed at National Museum of China

Starting Tuesday, visitors to the National Museum of China in Beijing are going to have a rare chance to see the head of an ancient Buddha sculpture.

The 1,500 year old Buddha head, which had been listed as stolen, has been returned to the mainland by Buddhist Master Hsing Yun of Taiwan.

A private collector donated the 80 kg head to Master Hsing Yun, the abbot of Foguang Mountain Temple in the city of Kaohsiung, in 2014.

Once he was told that it was the head of a Buddhist sculpture from the Youju Temple in Lingshou County in Hebei, the master immediately announced that he wanted to return it to its place of origin.

The headless sculpture was reunited at the Foguang Mountain Temple last year. During the sculpture's stay in Taiwan, between May of 2015 and this February, more than 1.14 million people have turned out to see it.

The sculpture, made of white marble, dates back to the Northern Qi Dynasty during the Southern and Northern Dynastic period dating back to the 5th century.

The Northern Qi Dynasty lasted for only 28 years. As such, there are few relics left from that period.

After a brief exhibition in Beijing, the rare treasure will be displayed in Hebei Museum in Shijiazhuang, the capital of North China's Hebei province.

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