Chinese police have arrested 26 other people suspected of stealing relics from an historical burial web site.
The gang allegedly seized virtually 650 gadgets, including gold and silver cutlery and jewelry, from the Dulan Tombs, which lie at the historical Silk Road in northwest China.
The stolen pieces date again to the 7th Century, the Chinese Language Ministry of Public Safety mentioned in a statement.
The suspects allegedly attempted to sell them for approximately $11m (£7.8m).
The items were mentioned to had been illegally excavated from the tombs, situated within the north-western province of Qinghai.
Image copyright AFP Image caption The Tang dynasty is famous for its gold and silver ware
Silk, gold, silver, bronze ware and other pieces have been unearthed at the tombs, of which there are greater than 2,000, because 1982.
Experts consider that lots of the items are of huge ancient value as they display cultural exchanges and interactions among East and West throughout the early Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Following the arrests, police will increase their crackdown on cultural relics crimes to higher offer protection to the country’s cultural history, the Chinese Language govt mentioned.
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