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0190 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 190 (Color Image)


[Figure] Pig. 14. Hu Ta-lama, head of the monks in the Potala

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cellency to accompany him; but that he had ordered his ministers to attend him through the gardens.»1

In 1911, the first year of the Republic, there were still some objects of value left in the Golden Pavilion. Father VAN OBBERGEN saw the beautiful woven silk hangings behind the altar, which groaned beneath a wealth of sacrificial bowls, incense-burners, and symbolic articles used in the lama worship. He flippantly compared this religious exhibition to an antique shop. The famous golden figures of the gods were missing, and he supposed that they were packed away in some chests he saw; but alas! they had been stolen long before by a mercenary mandarin. In one corner of the temple he was shown a saddle, a bow, and a quiver full of arrows, which were said to have belonged to the Emperor CH'I:EN LUNG, and were carefully preserved as relics. But he already suspected what was to come: »It is plain that this wonder of the world is doomed to swift annihilation. »2

During the first day's wanderings through the Potala MoNTE1,1, had taken some fine photographs and I had made some sketches. All the time we were surrounded

1 An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China (London 1797), Vol. 2, p. 240.

2 E. VAN OBBERGEN: Deux Illustres Pagodes Impériales de Jehol (Anthropos 6, Vienna 1911).

Fig. 14. Hu Ta-lama, head of the monks in

the Potala