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Buddha incindent

On the night of July 1 and July 2, two Fabergé semi-precious stone statues of Buddha in the collection of the Fabergé Museum in Baden Baden were slightly damaged when the glass panel supporting them shattered inside their glass case. The items fell to the bottom of the case, which remained whole. Museum officials rule out any attempt at theft, and said no intruder had violated the museum space.

The head of the dark-green nephrite Buddha came unhinged, but museum restorers said they have already reattached. The other Buddha, known as the Onassis Buddha, and made of bowenite, saw one of its hands come loose, but it has been reattached. This item was bought by the Fabergé Museum at Christie's in June 2008 for over 1 million pounds sterling. The Onassis Buddha was once owned by Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, kept on his yacht, Christina.

The reason for the incident remains a mystery, and museum officials are investigating. The glass panel is able to hold up to 16 kilograms; the Buddha statues had a combined weight of about 3.0 kilos. The Buddha statues were made by Faberge in the early 20th century for the King of Siam (Thailand) which is a primarily Buddhist kingdom.

2011-07-04
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