In October 1860, the Second Opium War came to a violent end when British and French forces sacked and destroyed the Yuanmingyuan. The wooden buildings were burned. The stone and marble European-style palaces lay in ruins. Many valuable objects of art made their way into the great “Oriental” collections of the West—the issue of looted Chinese art and artifacts continues to make news today. The Yuanmingyuan remains a symbol of modern China’s humiliation at the hands of rapacious foreigners in the nineteenth century.