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'Angry Birds' find a cousin in ancient China

This combined photo shows the Chinese antique
This combined photo shows the Chinese antique "Xiao You" (L) and "Angry Bird". (chinadaily.com.cn)

For long, celebrity personators have been a favorite on TV. Such over-night fame now enters the Web age as Chinese netizens revel in an obscure antique's catapult into Internet sensation, simply because of its stunning resemblance to the red-hot Angry Birds.

The owl-shaped container, dated at least 3,000 years ago to ancient China's Shang Dynasty (1766BC to 1122 BC), has a plump body, bulging eyes and pointed beak, all vivid features of the online icon. Even the pot cover's tine tip has a joyous resemblance to the Angry Birds' flaring forelock.

The hilarious likeness was first discoverd by a Beijing sina micro blogger, who posted a photo of the relic online after a visit to the Shanxi Museum in Taiyuan of Central China's Shanxi province where it is put on display, according to a news report on Chutian Metropolis Daily.

The post then went viral, forwarded thousands of times on the Internet. A netizen described the ancient holder as "the most lovely and trendy Shang Dynasty relic".

But what on earth is this owl-shaped pot? The antique, named "Xiao You" in Chinese, was used as wine cup by high-ranking officials and monarchies during Shang period.

The vessel was excavated in 1956, and stands at 19.7 centimeters in height, 13.4 centimeters wide. It is formed combining two owls back-to-back embedded with fine decorative flowers.

"Owls symbolizes mystery; awe and ferocity in ancient Chinese culture; the owl-shaped vessels were therefore very popular among the ruling class in Shang Dynasty," Qu Chuanfu, researcher, director of Shanxi Museum said during an interview.

As for the vessel's amusing revival on Internet, Qu said it reflects an inheritance of artistic taste Chinese people share from ancient to current time.

"If there's no common artistic taste, people wouldn't soon spot the similarity the vessel shares with the Angry Bird."

However, young people should also learn to dig out the real essence of cultural relics, "Fun is good, but never stop at the fun level while appreciating cultural relics," said Qu.

Qu added that there are about ten vessels dated from Shang Dynasty in existence, though half of them are lost overseas. The good news is, the one on display in Shanxi Museum is of the best quality, and arguably the most precious one.

(China Daily/ ANN member)

<한글 요약>

앵그리 버드의 사촌은 고대 중국에 있다?

앵드리버드와 닮은 고대 중국 은나라 시대의 부엉이 모양의 용기가 눈길을 끌고 있다.

이 용기는 베이징의 블로거가 중국 중부에 위치한 산시박물관에 있는 전시품을 찍어 올린것으로 통통한 몸과 튀어나온 옷 그리고 삐쭉한 부리등이 앵그리버드의 빨간새와 닮았다.

이 사진은 온라인에서 금새 퍼졌으며 한 네티즌은 이 용기를 보고 은왕조의 유물중에 가장 사랑스럽고 트렌디한 유물이라고 말했다. 이 부엉이 모양의 용기는 중국어로 “샤오 유”라고 불리며 은왕조 시대의 고위직에 있는 인물들이나 왕족의 술잔으로 쓰였다고 한다.

이 용기는 1956년도에 발굴되었으며, 길이 19.7cm에 넓이는 13.4cm 정도이고, 앞쪽과 뒤쪽에 모두 두마리의 부엉이가 등을 맞대고 있는 모양이다.

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