What did the British loot in Beijing?

What did the British and French loot from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing?

In October 1860, Anglo-French forces are estimated to have looted 1.5 million priceless treasures from the Old Summer Palace, Yuanmingyuan, in Beijing, after which, to inflict a lasting pain, they then burnt the heavenly complex to the ground.

“Because thou hast despoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall despoil thee” Habakkuk

The Old Summer Palace, destroyed by British and French forces in 1860, lay in ruin

This act has been described as the greatest act of cultural vandalism in modern history – and is likely one of the largest mass-scale thefts too.

In this documentary we will explore why and how the Old Summer Palace was sacked, and will inspect some of the items that were looted.

To bring the history to life, we will utilise old photographs, drawings and maps, and will inspect up close some of the looted objects.

What did the British loot from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing?


The Yuanmingyuan, or Old Summer Palace, in Beijing was once known as the “Garden of All Gardens” as it brought oriental gardens and Eastern and Western architecture together.

French and British troops burned it to the ground in 1860 during the Second Opium War, but thanks to modern technology, we can now explore it in its original glory. Check out this video and have a look at the wisdom and aesthetics of the old Chinese architecture.

Explore the original glory of China’s Old Summer Palace with CGTN

“I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel,” Hosea 6:10

“Because thou hast despoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall despoil thee, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein,” Habakkuk 2:8

“In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished” Ezekiel 6:6

~ by Joel Huan on September 25, 2022.

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