Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Commercialization endangers living fossils

By Wu Yixue (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-06 08:19

According to media reports, out of economic interests, some local governments have chosen to rent the ancient towns and buildings under their jurisdiction to individuals for commercial development, ignoring the necessary fire-fighting precautions. Given the fact that most of the country's ancient buildings are made of wood, it is very dangerous for any of them to have an excessively commercialized operation if no effective precautionary measures are put in place to deal with the possibility of a fire.

It still remains unclear whether the latest fire in Gongchenlou in Yunnan is related to its commercialized development, but past experiences indicate that excessive commercialization will not only sabotage the historical appearance of an ancient town or architectural structure, it will also raise safety concerns. According to the public security and relics preservation authorities, nearly 40 percent of the more than 1,300 fires that broke out to China's cultural relics or ancient architectures from 2009 to the early of 2014 were related to inappropriate human factors, which proved inseparable from their commercialized operation.

As living "fossils" of its human activities in the past, most of China's ancient villages, towns or architecture can be regarded as the crystallization of its glorious historical and cultural civilization. It is time to consider the necessity of putting an immediate stop to any commercialization of its precious ancient architectures and putting in place more effective measures for their protection.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News