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Political advisor calls for legislation to protect ancient books | Updated: 2023-03-08 15:13
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Chen Hongyan, member of the 14th CPPCC National Committee and director of the Ancient Book Department at the National Library of China [Photo/Weibo account of China Cultural Heritage]

Chen Hongyan, a member of the 14th CPPCC National Committee and director of the Ancient Book Department at the National Library of China, has been committed to protecting ancient books over the last 36 years.

How to improve their protection of ancient books has been one of her top concerns.

Ancient books are mostly made of paper, which makes them fragile, non-renewable and prone to degradation and damage, Chen told reporters in a recent interview.

Chen suggests that legislation be made on the protection and utilization of ancient books so that the work can be more scientific, standard and sustainable.

“Ancient book protection involves both restoring and protecting the carrier itself, and regenerative protection characterized by the migration, utilization, and activation of ancient documents,” Chen said.

“Ancient books are not only cultural relics but books by nature. Therefore, in addition to protecting them, efforts should be made to inherit, promote and utilize them to serve the building of a modern society.”

The CPPCC member also advised that governments of all levels should set aside funds from their fiscal revenues for ancient book protection, which can ensure the sustainability of this effort. Policies also should be made to support institutes and professionals engaged in this area of work, she added.

Chinese ancient books becoming protected by law should be the characteristic of ancient book protection in the new era, Chen emphasized.

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