OPINION> Commentary
Building of fake heritages
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-04-03 07:42

The rebuilding of old cultural relics may waste unnecessary money and spoil the spirit of protecting traditional culture, says an article in Workers' Daily. Following is an excerpt:

The plan to rebuild Yuanmingyuan, or the old Summer Palace, in Hengdian, Zhejiang province, a renowned film shooting base in China, was recently aborted on account of land problems almost a year after it was first announced.

The plan has sparked talk on investment in cultural projects in recent years. It seems for some that rebuilding the old palace is the only way to remember our ancestors or conserve our traditional civilization.

But the inheritance of civilization centers more on spirits and wisdom than on physical goods left by ancestors. Many local governments have recently made great efforts to capitalize on local history and culture as a way to attract investment. The pity is that some of them have commercialized traditional culture in a dumbfounding manner.

For example, Nanjing is set to invest 700 million yuan to recreate Jiangning Weaving and Fabric Manufacturing House as it appeared in the famous novel The Dream of Red Mansion.

Others also hope to make the best use of classical novels such as the Outlaws of the Marsh.

These ideas resonate with the Yuanmingyuan plan. They all hope to make money out of building a cultural platform, but many worry that these plans waste money.

(China Daily 04/03/2009 page8)