The theft of a thumb of an ancient Terracotta Warrior statue on display in the US incited a wave of criticism on Chinese social media Tuesday, following Chinas calls to severely punish the thief.
Michael Rohana, 24, has been arrested over the theft during an after hours “ugly sweater party” just before Christmas at the Franklin Institute in Pennsylvania where 10 of the figures are on display.
According to an arrest affidavit filed by an FBI agent, Rohana snuck into the closed exhibit and snapped a selfie with the warrior, worth $4.5 million.
Rohana then appeared to break off the statue’s left thumb and pocket it before leaving the event with friends.
The museum noticed its disappearance weeks later on January 8. The FBI agent tracked Rohana back to his home in Bear, Delaware, where the young man admitted to having stashed the thumb in a desk drawer.
He was arrested for theft of a major artwork from a museum, concealment of a major stolen artwork, and the interstate transportation of stolen property, but released on a $15,000 bail, according to court documents seen by AFP.