The BBC reports on the death of a Belgian dealer in Chinese antiquities who ran afoul of the authorities and has been under arrest in China for six years.
Kurt de Raedemaeker, 48, died three weeks ago in a Beijing hotel, spokesmen said. He was arrested at Beijing airport in 2006 and later convicted of illegally exporting an ancient sarcophagus, media reports say. He denied any wrongdoing and Belgium had been seeking his repatriation.
Raedemaeker, a sinologist, bought the sarcophagus in Bejing in 2003 and sold it to a US citizen later in the year, according to the Belgian state broadcaster VRT. It is currently on loan to the Guimet Museum in Paris.
In 2008, he was convicted by a court in the western province of Gansu, where the sarcophagus was from. Raedemaeker insisted the transaction was legal and that he had the necessary permits from the Chinese authorities. But the authorities said the sarcophagus, reportedly valued at $1.2m, was a national treasure, and demanded it be returned from abroad.