Rose Hanbury’s Houghton Hall issues statement amid accusations of possessing stolen Chinese artifacts – Hindustan Times

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ByShweta Kukreti

After Prince and Princess of Wales’ neighbours were accused of possesing antique valuables that were looted from China, Houghton Hall issued a statement.

After Prince and Princess of Wales‘ neighbours – Marquess and his wife Rose Hanbury — were accused of possessing antique valuables that were looted from China, Houghton Hall has issued a statement, stating that the artifacts were not stolen.

Prince William and Kate’s neighbours – Marquess, 63, and his wife Rose Hanbury, 40 — have been slammed for residing with the “pillaged loot” acquired from his illustrious family, the Sassoons.(X)

In the United Kingdom, one of the most stunning mansions, Houghton Hall, boasts about 106-rooms and welcomes hundreds of tourists each year to marvel at its rich architectural past.

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Chinese TikTok sleuths have taken to TikTok to target Houghton Hall, the family home of David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, claiming the neo-Palladian pile holds historic jewels taken during the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history.

This comes after pictures of the Grade I listed house went viral on social media platforms, despite the estate’s claims that nothing of the Hall’s belongings had been stolen.

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All you need to know about the ‘stolen’ artifacts

Marquess, 63, and his wife Rose Hanbury, 40 — have been slammed for residing with the “pillaged loot” acquired from his illustrious family, the Sassoons. They are also known as “the Rothschilds of the East”, who made their wealth in the 19th century by trading opium, tea, and textiles throughout China and India. They witnessed a surge in their fortunes during China’s ‘century of humiliation’ (1839–1845), when British and French soldiers looted millions of priceless artifacts.

Rose Hanbury is also accused of having an an extra-marital affair with Prince William. However, she has denied the allegations.

While it is challenging to determine which objects were retained lawfully or which were stolen, a TikTok user posted pictures of the Hall’s interior on Xiaohongshu, a website similar to Instagram, stating: “The Sassoons started to accumulate their wealth by looting late Qing China,” Daily Mail reported.

The social media users in China have combed through images of the Marquess and Marchioness published in several magazines such as Vanity Fair, showcasing their opulent property in north Norfolk, which is situated four miles from Prince and Princess of Wales’ country estate, Anmer Hall.

TikTok user Cathy Chen claimed that these cultural relics “are the wisdom and hard work of our ancestors” as well as representing the history and culture of China.

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Houghton Hall issues statement: ‘These items were not looted’

Responding to the accusations, a representative for Houghton Hall stated that the Chinese-origin objects in the pictures that social media users have mentioned were acquired by the Walpole family, which is Houghton’s original proprietors during the rule of Qing Dynasty.

Stating that these items “were not looted” and they were made for export to Europe, the spokesperson said: “It would be hard to find a country house collection, whether private or owned by the National Trust, that does not exhibit items acquired in or from China. This is true of most European and American collections.”

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