The photographs I took on that occasion clearly indicate that the Tianjin Library prints of Yongle Southern Canon are identical to the southern canon kept in the Beibei Library.
A colophon in the Beibei collection canon shows that the previous owner purchased the prints in the sixth year of Emperor Wanli, i.e.
Yet, despite the lack of any credible connection to Schäfer, blogs with titles like “Nazi-found Buddhist statue” or “Ancient statue the Nazis stole,” dominate the web, overshadowing the findings of serious research.
In an effort to advance the research of scholars such as Achim Bayer, this paper will argue that this statue depicts a historical person of the 20th century.
Widely considered a witness of a mysterious pre-Buddhist civilization of Tibet, more than a thousand years old, the statue made a shooting-star career on the title pages of international media.
The paper will conclude with speculations on these questions.
The Hongwu Southern Canon in the Beibei Library: Authentic or False?
On the other hand, there is little awareness so far, that similar issues can also be found with early Tibetan art.
Although playing a major role in art historical work, issues of authenticity may be taught in an academic context and discussed at conferences, but for legal reasons are rarely published unless they have been in a museum collection for considerable time.
There are also objects the authenticity of which cannot be decided with the available possibilities of access and technical means.