Man finds fossilised timber used by Chinese royal families

July 10th, 2012 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 10 (IANS) A villager in China has excavated a huge log of rare, semi-fossilised wood that was once a prized possession in ancient China and used only by royal families and temples.

Wu Gaoliang from southwestern Sichuan province found a 34-metre-long trunk of Phoebe zhennan wood weighing six tonnes. However, the local government took it from him saying that objects without an owner and buried in the ground belong to the state, the Shanghai Daily reported.

The timber was worth an estimated 20 million yuan (over $3 million), but the government gave him just 70,000 yuan as a reward.

Wu, resident of Pengzhou city’s Tongji town, has decided to sue the government for “seizing” the wood he found in his contracted field.

He accused the government of abusing power, saying the authorities should have obtained court approval to take possession of the timber.

He had spent 200,000 yuan unearthing the timber, and demanded the government to pay him a reward of four million yuan or return the timber.

The chief head of the city museum said the timber was seized as it could hold information on the ancient climate and environment.

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