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Old Summer Palace or Yuanmingyuan was a summer retreat for Chinese Imperial families in Beijing. It had a variety of Chinese and western style buildings, fountains, gardens, lakes and other features. It was looted and destroyed by British and French troops at the end of the Second Opium War in 1860. Further destruction took place during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 by the combined forces of the French, Russian, British, United States, German, Italian, Japanese, and Austrians. Since the 1970’s the site has been open to visitors to view in it’s damaged state. Recently the site has been in the news due to a looted chinese zodiac head being auctioned in London and a controversial plan to begin reconstructing Yuanmingyuan to it’s former glory.
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