ISC The Chinese Statue Workbook Answer
The real worth of a piece of art lies in it’s beauty and not its material worth. Discuss this statement with reference to the story, ‘The Chinese Statue’.
Jeffrey Archer’s ‘The Chinese Statue’ is a story about an old statue of Emperor Kung, belonging to the Ming Dynasty. The statue is the main object around which the entire story revolves which was brought to London from China by Sir Alexander.
Sir Alexander Heathcote, a lover of art, especially of the Ming dynasty’s art, Was appointed as British Ambassador in China. It was his love of art that took him to the countryside where he encountered an old craftsman.
Sir Alexander was highly impressed by a statue of Emperor Kung, which had been in the family of the craftsman for over seven generations. The only blemish in the statue was that its base was missing. But that did not bother. Sir Alexander as he was enthralled by the beauty of the statue.
For the craftsman, the piece of art was a family heirloom but he had to pan with it only to comply with the old Chinese tradition according to which a person had to acceed tor the request and give the object if the request was made by an honoured guest.
Neither the craftsman nor Sir Alexander and his ancestors came to know that the statue was fake. It seems that they were so mesmerised by its beauty that they did not think about its being genuine or fake.
For the real lovers of art, there is no real cost for an object of art because for them it is priceless. Sir Alexander paid his savings to the craftsman not in cash but in kind. He got a beautiful house constructed in the hills to fulfill the crahsman’s desire to spend the rest of his life in the hills above his village, where his ancestors had always died.
It is only for people like Sir Alexander‘s descendant, Alex Heathcote, who are selfish, fun loving and disinterested in the work of art, that material wealth is more important than the true worth of a piece of art. It is revealed from his conversation with the Head of the Oriental Department at Sotheby’s when he says, ‘Yes, yes, sell the bloody thing”, without bothering to look back at it.
The narrator of the story bought the statue knowing fully well that it was fake, for he also seemed to be a me admirer of art and its beauty.
ISC Echoes Notes