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China eyes more protection of cultural relics

English.news.cn | Updated: 2013-05-08 11:10

China is making more efforts to preserve its cultural relics, formally prioritizing the protection of more historic sites.

In early May, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) added 1,943 unmovable cultural relics sites to the list of key areas that need protection, taking the total number of sites on this list to 4,295.

Reviewed by more than 130 experts, the newly added sites, scattered around Shanxi, Henan, Hunan, Hebei and Jiangsu provinces, contain 795 pieces of ancient architecture and 516 ancient ruins as well as stone inscriptions and outstanding modern architectures.

Li Xiaojie, head of the SACH, revealed in an interview, that new types of cultural relics sites have been newly listed to obtain prioritized protection, including industrial relics, rural architecture and cultural landscapes.

Moreover, many of the new sites also include valuable cultural relics from ethnic minority regions such as north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Urging cultural relics protection organs at all levels to enhance the maintenance of cultural relics and regulate to ensure their survival, Li has shown resolution to further the protection work.

In 1982, China's top legislators approved the country's law on cultural relics protection.

Despite great achievements during the years of effort, problems still exist.

Many relics have been destroyed in the process of urban construction, ancient tombs are often robbed, collected historic relics get stolen and antiques are smuggled.

According to statistics from the latest national archaeological survey conducted from 2007 to 2011, China has more than 760,000 registered unmovable cultural relics and 2,384 state-owned museums hold 28.6 million collected relics.

The survey also showed that in the past 30 years, more than 40,000 unmovable Chinese relics have vanished, with half of them destroyed by construction work.

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