An ancient Buddha statue made of bright yellow metal suspected to be pure gold was temporarily seized by the Market Management Department of southern An Giang province.
A gold Buddha statute (For illustration purposes only)
The seizure was made by the department’s Market Management Team 1 when the statute was about to be sold by a woman in Vinh Hanh commune of the province’s Chau Thanh district.
The statute weighs 81.9 kg and is 1.16 meter in height and 0.85 meter in diameter at its middle part.
Some traders of antique items said the color of yellow might be the color of 14-carat gold, the team reported.
The seller, Ms. Atyca, said she was waiting to sell the statute to traders in Ho Chi Minh City for US$300,000.
According to some sources, the statue was first discovered by a fisherman in southern Kien Giang province. It was later sold and bought several times before being acquired by Ms. Atyca, the team said.
The department has worked with such provincial agencies as the Finance Department, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, the Police Department, and the Sub-department for Standardization, Metrology and Quality, to set up an appraisal council to confirm the statute’s age and the material of which the statue was made.
The council will also include experts in antiques.
If the statue is confirmed to be entirely made of 14-carat gold, then its weight will be equivalent to 2,184 taels of gold, valued at US$3.77 million – the most valuable item ever seized by provincial Market Management Sub-department.
Nguyen Ai Viet, head of the department, demanded that the statue be kept intact during appraisal and testing.