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Pinault family to donate looted bronzes to China

Friday - 4/26/2013, 10:00am  ET

BEIJING (AP) -- The family that runs French luxury-goods conglomerate Kering has won plaudits from Beijing for offering to donate a pair of looted Qing dynasty bronzes to the Chinese government.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage said Friday's offer from company CEO Francois-Henri Pinault was "an expression of friendship toward the Chinese people."

The pieces to be returned are the bronze heads of a rat and rabbit that were among 12 animal heads that were looted from the old Summer Palace in Beijing by French and British troops in 1860 during the Second Opium War.

Kering, formerly known as PPR, owns brands such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen that are thriving in China's luxury market. Pinault was traveling in China with French President Francois Hollande on a visit to strengthen economic ties.

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