Mystery of the Lost Pagodas

An image of one of the found pagodas. Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe Staff

An image of one of the found pagodas. Joanne Rathe/Boston Globe Staff

Fr. Jeremy Clarke, SJ, a professor of history at Boston College, recently challenged his students to solve a mystery which could have easily served as the plot of a detective novel – find the missing Chinese pagoda models.

The models were originally intended for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. After that they wound up in Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. But their location became a mystery after that. The quest to find them was spurred on by Fr. Clarke’s trip to China last year as well as his interest in sharing Chinese culture with others.

“I see my role as a bridge between the Chinese Catholic communities and the outside world,” he said in a Boston Globe article.

Thanks to the Internet the students were able to take their search online. The search came to an end last fall with the location being a warehouse in Somerville, Mass. Three of the models are on display at BC’s O’Neill Library this month.

Click here to read more about the lost pagodas.

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