A statue that stood guard, buried and undamaged for more than 2,000 years, couldn’t contend with a man at a private party in Philadelphia who just had to sneak off and take a selfie, according to multiple media reports.
The man, later identified as Michael Rohana, 24, was seen in a restricted area at the Franklin Institute during a party on Dec. 21 that was held after-hours at the museum, The New York Times reported.
The museum discovered the missing digit on Jan. 8. FBI officials then identified Rohana as a suspect a week later.
FBI says a US man stole the thumb of a 2,200-year-old Chinese terracotta warrior statue being displayed at the Franklin Institute pic.twitter.com/ZwzRrSq8V2— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) February 18, 2018
FBI officials said Rohana used his cellphone's flash as a light source to see the displays. He then put his arm around one of the famous Terracotta warriors to snap a selfie, The New York Times reported. After the photo-op, the FBI said Rohana then snapped off the thumb from the statue's left hand and took it home to Delaware.
FBI officials said Rohana admitted to taking the thumb from the statue. He then took agents to his bedroom to retrieve the thumb from his desk, The Washington Post reported.
The statue is at the Franklin Institute with nine others currently on loan from China. It is worth $4.5 million, USAToday reported.
The installation runs until March 4.
Rohana has been charged with theft of an object of cultural heritage from a museum, concealment of the object and interstate transportation of stolen goods. He's free on $15,000 personal recognizance bond, The Washington Post reported.
Museum officials said that a security contractor didn't follow the museum's closing procedures after the party, The New York Times reported.
For more on the history of the Terracotta warriors, click here.
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