"Is spoofing cultural relics illegal?"

Ancient relics from the Tang Dynasty have been turned into memes, upsetting Chinese social media users.

According to the BBC, pictures of Chinese cultural relics with meme-style texts have been around for years but resurfaced after Sina Breaking News shared them for International Museum Day.

The memes include figurines sharing a high five but are actually from the Tang Dynasty. According to Beijing’s Palace Museum the figurines are “performing what is known as a soft dance… belonging to ethnic Han peoples”.

Another meme shows a pottery statue of a man’s head with his mouth open. It is dated to be thousands of years old. The meme’s text translates to “Aaah?”

Weibo users have since responded to the images. “Please delete this immediately,” one user said.

Other comments said the memes were “insulting to artefacts” and “an insult to [Chinese] culture”.

However, one commenter asked, “is spoofing cultural relics illegal?”, whilst others described the memes as “cute” and “funny”.