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Police in Zhoukou city, Henan province, are looking into an incident in which a tourist smashed ancient statues of notorious government officials from the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) at a temple.
The tourist “suddenly became emotional” while visiting the memorial temple for national hero Yue Fei, according to a statement released by the temple’s management officials.
The statement said the tourist, ignoring staff members’ calls for calm, climbed up on a censer in front of the temple and began smashing iron statues depicting infamous court officials from the dynasty, including chancellor Qin Hui.
The tourist was eventually forced to leave, and workers called police, the statement said.
After the incident, guardrails were installed next to the statues, and security was beefed up, the statement said. It called on visitors to abide by the rules and exhibit civilized behavior.
Yue was a military general who led soldiers against invaders from northern China during the Southern Song Dynasty. One of the most famous generals in China’s history, he is lauded for his resolute loyalty he showed to his country and its people.
Qin falsely accused Yue of treason, and Yue was sent to prison, where he was killed in 1142.
Yue’s life has been thrust back into the spotlight with the release of the film Full River Red on Jan 22. The movie, filmed by prolific director Zhang Yimou, was named after Yue’s most famous poem.