An affidavit filed in federal court earlier this month accused Michael Rohanna, a 24-year-old DE man, of breaking off and stealing the thumb from a loaned terracotta statue called "The Cavalryman", a treasured piece valued at $4.5 million.
Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre, which arranged the loan of 10 of the statues, "strongly condemned" the theft, according to a report in the Beijing Youth Daily.
A Franklin Institute spokeswoman said previously the statue will be repaired, adding that a security contractor did not follow standard procedures the night of the alleged theft. "We have lodged a serious protest with them", Wu Haiyun said, according to the BBC.
The provincial cultural heritage department said related US departments should be held responsible for the damage, and guarantee the safety of the relics on display. It was an ugly-sweater party, according to an arrest affidavit the FBI submitted in federal court.
In a statement late Monday afternoon, The Franklin Institute expressed utmost respect for the Terracotta Warriors and deflected blame for the security lapse.
Authorities say Rohana took photos while posing next to a statue known as "The Cavalryman". He has been charged with theft and concealment of a major artwork from a museum and interstate transportation of stolen property.
The warrior was one of 10 statutes which were loaned to the Philadelphia museum last September for the Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition.
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The statues displayed in the "Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor" exhibit were first unearthed by farmers in 1974 and are part of a collection of thousands that were buried along with the emperor in 210 B.C. The Franklin Institute's exhibit will remain open through March 4. It was on display at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute when the vandalism took place.
The young man in a long-sleeved green sweater and a Philadelphia Phillies cap walked into the darkened exhibit during a December 21 "Science After Hours" party, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Jacob Archer.
Franklin Institute staff didn't discover that the thumb was missing until January 8, according to the affidavit.
He then put his hand on the left hand of one of the warriors and snapped something off, the documents said.
Federal authorities said Michael Rohana, 24, from DE, stole the thumb.