‘Escape from the British Museum’ series raises demand for the return of Chinese artworks. Is Beijing behind this?
What is the web series about? The video shows a human teapot searching for its way home to China. She seeks help from a Chinese journalist in London. The Teapot Girl managed to escape from the British Museum. This is also the title of the series: “Escape from the British Museum.” The three-part miniseries is a beautiful love story, at the core of which revolves around a Chinese artefact that will be returned to China from a London museum. where you belong.
Fact or fiction: what is the video based on? The responsible video maker, “Pancake Fruit” (煎饼果仔呀), claims that the video is based on facts. Perhaps this means less human teapots and more Chinese artwork housed in the British Museum. The museum, one of the most important museums in the world, says it contains 23,000 Chinese artifacts. Among them is the same teapot: According to the BBC They are a relatively new piece at the museum, created by a Chinese artist in 2011. International calls for their return are growing, especially after recent reports that a staff member stole thousands of artefacts from the British Museum.
What are the reactions in China? The video has already been viewed more than 270 million times on Douyin, the Chinese version of Tiktok. That’s a lot, but it’s not exceptional, says SRF’s China correspondent, Claudia Stahel. The video is especially popular among young Chinese who are familiar with video platforms. “However, the video was not as widely accepted by residents as other topics, such as the return of the Chinese panda Yaya.” The teapot series is not able to arouse nationalist sentiment to the same extent as the panda, which was returned to China after being loaned to the United States 20 years ago.
Does the state have anything to do with the video? The Global Times, the party’s mouthpiece, meanwhile reported demands for the return of Chinese artifacts. Officially, the video was produced by the special vlogger “Pancake Fruit”. Claudia Stahel said there was no strong evidence that the government funded it. However, it was easily picked up by Chinese media. “The story fits the official story.” State media reports on the video’s success and users’ demands for the return of cultural assets. The Chinese government has not yet made a formal request to return the piece to the British Museum.
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