An ancient traditional Chinese seven-string musical instrument, the Guqin, has set a new world record at a musical instrument auction, selling for 136 million yuan (US$20 million) in Beijing on December 7.

Ancient Chinese Guqin sets auction record

The ancient Guqin was made for Chinese emperor Song Huizong during the Song Dynasty in 1120. It was treasured by the royal family and the Qing Dynasty emperor Qianlong, who he had his seal engraved on it in 1742.

However, the Guqin was taken from the Yuanmingyuan, the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, when it was pillaged by a joint British and French military expedition in 1860. It was recovered at the beginning of the 20th century and preserved by a Chinese musician in Shanghai. Finally, an anonymous buyer purchased it.

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