A replica cultural relic gifted to a Taiwan museum by Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan was sprayed with red paint by two young people who said the exhibit was a symbol of China’s effort to assimilate Taiwan.

A video posted on Youtube by Taiwan’s Liberty Tines showed a man spraying “cultural consolidation” on a copy of the famous Chinese zodiac dragon statue on Wednesday. Later the man helped a woman climb up another horse statue which she sprayed with red paint.


The pair were spotted by passers-by and arrested by police, the Central News Agency reported.

The two vandalised exhibits are part of a 12-piece bronze statue set – replicas of historical Chinese zodiac animal head statues. The originals, which were decorations at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, were looted by the British and French during the Second Opium War in 1860.

jackie chan statues red paint
The statues sprayed with red paint and the two suspects.

Jackie Chan gave the replicas to the southern branch of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum in Chiayi County. On Monday, the actor said on Twitter-like Weibo that he was in Chiayi to attend the opening ceremony of the museum.

The vandalising pair said they reject Chan’s gift because they were copies and because the actor is a member of China’s political consultative body CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference).

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.