Thieves who stole a £230m Chinese scroll have sold it for £50 to an unsuspecting buyer who has torn it in half thinking it was a fake.
The 3m-long scroll was a public notice hand-written by Chairman Mao Zedong – founding father of the Communist state in 1929.
It was the most prized item from a reported £400m haul stolen from a flat in Kowloon in Hong Kong last month.
The anonymous purchaser has since come forward after seeing reports of the theft, The Times reported.
He said they thought the calligraphic scroll was counterfeit and tore it so he could store it more easily.
It was most prized item among a reported £400 million haul stolen from a famous collector's flat in Kowloon in Hong Kong.
Police have identified three suspects and arrested one of them.
An alleged accomplice was also held accused of providing a hideout after the burglary on September 10.
Thieves had broken into the flat of Fu Chunxiao, a wellknown collector of antique stamps and revolutionary art, while he was away on the mainland.
Chinese basketball club fined 1million for Chairman Mao-inspired adverts
The unique calligraphy was valued by police at more than £230 million.
A Chinese basketball club was fined 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (£114,000) for using a Chairman Mao-themed poster to promote a match last year.
The poster sparked fury among fans after Zhejiang Guangsha Lions used it to in adverts for their match against Bayi Rockets on December 12.
Mao Zedong ruled as the chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.
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